Chapter 346: The Third
Sila’s body, which remained still in the air, became an easy target for Arden . Its nine claws, clad with psychic power reinforcement, let off a golden glow . Despite the slow state, Sila wasn’t hurried . With Profound Qi Circulation Art, the qi in his body circulated throughout his veins . His body might appear defenseless, but the power within his body was as solid as a stone mountain .
Keep things simple . That was Kiryu’s advice for fighting against psychic-type opponents . Simply defend when being attacked and counterattack when an opportunity appears .
The claws grazed Sila, letting off a screeching sound like someone rubbing a dagger against metal . Sila’s qi properly protected its master from harm . He also activated Universe Momentum, locking Arden’s claws onto his body, making the creature incapable of moving back . Sila slowly moved his hand to Arden’s stomach, his thumb and index fingers forming into a muzzle .
“Ar-te-fact . Mni-fes-ttion,” Sila spoke with difficulty . Despite how slow he was, for activating a spell, completing the chant was enough to unleash its power .
Arden realized what kind of fate awaited it . It tried to flee, repeatedly beating its claws on Sila . Its actions didn’t work, however . Sila’s current defense was so high that its claws couldn’t inflict serious damage . Locking the opponent onto oneself was Fargo’s fighting method . Recalling the past and how it was none other than this Colossia City where he had encountered Fargo for the first time, Sila couldn’t help but show a nostalgic smile .
A fire magic arrow flew toward Arden . Using common sense, the arrow moving at a slow pace didn’t seem frightening at all . Nevertheless, magic wasn’t about speed . The spell’s attack power was determined by the user’s related skills . With Sila’s Art of Magic, his magic abilities would be more powerful the closer he was to the target . At such a close range, Arden would suffer severe damage even if it protected itself with psychic reinforcement .
The red metal arrow—flickering with flames—had to be some kind of item, though Sila didn’t get the chance to read its description . Once it collided with Arden, the monster was ignited, exploding in a burst of flames . A pile of gold coins rained from the explosion, before they combined into Arden, its size a bit smaller .
‘Hm? It didn’t die? I thought I hit the center of its forehead . Could it be that its head isn’t its vital spot?’
“My uneducated master, you can’t kill it so easily . Most of the high-level monsters you have fought so far were magic-type, so you’re inexperienced . For us high-level psychic-type monsters, we always possess some kind of skill that lets us survive even if our vital points are attacked . This is one of our promising qualities,” Zarnak said stoically . It referred to psychic-type monsters as ‘us’ because it, too, was a psychic-type monster .
Psychic-type was about synergistic effects and flexibility . Its essence was Creativity . The same skill could show different results depending on the user . The uniqueness coming from a combination of skills made fighting against a psychic-type opponent the most unpredictable .
As a matter of fact, the skill that Arden activated just now was derived from three other skills . The first one was Psychic Dividing Life, which helped the user survive a single powerful attack . The second was Teleportation, and the last was Lurking Psychic, which sent an anomaly to an opponent .
Sila had experienced Lurking Psychic before from Shueria, though it came in the form of Bomb Lurking Psychic—which was the combination of Shueria’s Lurking Psychic and Psychic Boost . Shueria’s skill caused constant and long-term damage to an opponent . Arden’s skill, however, added gold to its opponent every time it survived a deadly attack .
Regretfully for Arden, Sila already carried the maximum amount of gold on him . Thus, its skill was no different from traditional Psychic Dividing Life that helped it escape from immediate death .
‘If it can repeatedly use the skill, doesn’t that mean it is immortal?’ Sila asked Zarnak via their mental connection while he was on the move .
“That won’t be the case . Did you notice that it became smaller? It may be able to escape death, but its health points have been decreased regardless of how skillfully it evaded . When it comes to stats, qi-type is overwhelmingly superior to psychic-type . Keep killing it, and it will eventually die for good . ” The response came from Dark Self . Sila sometimes wondered whether Dark Self learned the same things he did . Was it possible that Dark Self actually did research behind his back?
Vines appeared out of Isaac’s shadow, crawling slowly . Arden jumped and stepped on the air, kicking a pile of gold coins toward Isaac and Midnight in the process . On the defense line, Miki and Alpha tried to block the incoming attack .
“Weapon Enchantment!” Alpha’s dagger glowed white, reinforced with defensive aura . He waved the dagger at the gold coins . His movements were slow, however, so he missed the right timing . The gold hit his hand first, rupturing it . As for Miki, she clad her body with magic power reinforcement and directly blocked the attack . The impact still sent her flying several meters back .
‘Eh? They couldn’t block it . Were those gold coins that strong?’ Sila didn’t expect mere coins to easily break their formation . He failed to consider that Arden was a Lord Rank monster, and psychic power was favored against magic power . Even its basic attack was enough to overwhelm the squad . Only if one possessed superior techniques could they cope with an opponent of a higher rank .
Unfortunately for them, Arden’s techniques regarding how to make use of its skills were superior to everyone in the well, Sila included .
The gold coins didn’t only attack its targets, but also vanished, transferring into Alpha and Miki’s pockets . As the collective amount of gold got higher, Arden’s body became larger . Apparently, it deliberately added money to its prey in order to increase its stats, all for the sake of killing Sila .
Sila intended to descend to the ground . However, even his descent speed was so slow as if he were a floating balloon . In the end, he resorted to rely on Kiryu’s teachings: Overwhelm the psychic-type opponent with fear .
Evil God’s Essence — Transcendent Monster Heir .
Sila’s eyes flashed golden . On his mask, all three marbles shone golden . Arden’s body suddenly froze, its yellow eyes trembling . Its control over its skills became poorer, causing Sila to regain some of his speed .
Presented with such a rare opportunity, Sila, along with thirty ice magic arrows, flew to the King of Gold Coins .
The ice arrows repeatedly rammed into Arden, making it explode into gold coins, then recombined into its new body again . Its fear subsided as it became fiercer . Some of the gold coins in the room melted into its claws, making its claws golden .
‘Umm . . . Monster Heir really doesn’t work too well against a psychic-type opponent,’ Sila mused .
Psychic-types often had some tricks to avoid or reduce the impact of skills, so Sila wasn’t surprised that his Monster Heir quickly lost its effectiveness .
Sila wasn’t greedy . Being able to move slightly faster was enough . He activated the Hidden Weapon Firing skill, firing a million gold coins at Arden . Now that there was space in his system window, however, King’s Treasury did its job again, absorbing money into his pocket . His attempt to decrease the amount of money on him ultimately ended up in vain .
‘Dang . I thought it was a clever move . ’
Even the gold coins that he fired were affected by Arden’s skill . They advanced slothfully, so slow that they seemed to simply float in the air . It was a bizarre sight, having numerous gold coins hovering in the room .
Arden swept some of the coins out of his way so he could see clearly . It was ready to jump at Sila yet again .
“Well, at least the backup plan works,” Sila muttered to himself .
Orbiting Cosmos .
The gold in the air shone colorfully with Sila’s magic power, as he had imbued them with six elements, before exploding .
However, Arden seemed relatively fine even after all that . Sila frowned and thought of what was different .
“ . . . This guy is durable against impacts such as blunt attacks or explosions, but weak against sharp attacks . ”
Seeing how sluggish his movements were, Sila felt exhausted . He had yet to seriously unleash his qi . It wasn’t that he was afraid that he might expose his secret . In fact, he was very confident in his qi concealment . He believed no one could sense his qi even if he mustered its power . Only a qi practitioner at Lone Wolf’s caliber would be able to see through his qi concealment . The real reason why he had yet to use qi was that Arden’s skill brought him a grave problem, more so he had expected .
If his movements hadn’t been so slow, he might have been able to defeat it quickly with Genesis Punch . Nevertheless, Poluk’s Genesis Punch was a delicate art, requiring the user to exert power in an instant . Now that the flow of his qi became rather abnormal, Sila didn’t dare to use a powerful qi move . If he made even a slight error, the backlash might lead to lethal qi deviation .
There was no need to be hurried anyway . There were five of them . They should eventually be able to defeat it .
“Disintegration Black Swamp . ”
Midnight finally finished his casting . It took a long time, though Sila couldn’t tell whether it was Midnight’s fault or not since he himself was totally inexperienced when it came to spell casting . He just felt that Midnight’s casting speed was significantly inferior to Bluebird and Trick Master’s .
A black swamp appeared on the ground, with hands reaching out of it toward Arden . The swamp eroded some of the gold coins, indicating that it was some kind of acid .
Arden unleashed its psychic power, smashing the black hands and making them stop . The hands gradually turned golden . Once the entire swamp was dyed, the golden hands changed their targets, stretching toward the squad members with exceptional speed .
With the combination of Lurking Psychic, Psychic Manipulation, and Psychic Power Reinforcement, Arden could temporarily hijack someone’s skill to work in its favor .
Sila could handle the acid hands, but the rest couldn’t . As soon as the hands touched them, an intense wave of acid eroded their skins, bringing them intense pain . Miki screamed .
For the record, Isaac also let out a girlish scream . Thanks to Miki’s scream being louder, however, his went unheard by his teammates, allowing him to save face .
Arden’s psychic power was flaring in the room and everyone was hurt by it . In that particular chaotic instant, there were two people who moved at speeds which they didn’t think anyone else could notice .
Except, each of them did notice one another .
Sila manifested a sharp sword out of Dark Psychic Corrosion, forming it on his palm, and enhanced his arm with qi . With explosive arm strength, he swung his arm at a speed that almost made it seem like it wasn’t moving at all . It was a move reminiscent of the Heartless Steel Sword’s former master—the Aloof Juang Jing . If the Sword Prodigy was here, he would compliment Sila for that .
At the same time, Midnight subtly swiped his left arm, and Arden’s body was immediately cut in half from a long distance . It was done by a manifested weapon that was so thin it was almost invisible .
It was none other than a magical chakram made of Eroding Nightmare Magical Qi .
In that incredibly brief moment, Sila was made aware that Midnight was Zero . On the other hand, witnessing his moves, Zero also realized that Nero was Sila .
Midnight (0 . 00 AM) represents three zeroes . For Narin, this life of his was already his third chance .
They both knew each other’s real identity but decided not to pry, at least for now .
Poor King of Gold Coins . Facing off against two of the best qi-type players, it couldn’t hope to stand a chance .
Its body, which was cut into half, recombined into a new one . Yet its new body failed to function . Half of it kept disintegrating while the other half kept getting torn apart .
Sila and Zero didn’t talk to each other . They no longer even paid the Lord Rank monster any mind . Sila had added Dark Psychic Corrosion into his last attack, corroding it from within, while Zero similarly imbued Eroding Nightmare Magical Qi into his . The wound created by his magical chakram would continue to be cut until his target drove his power from its bodily system . His continuous attacks weakened every time they made a cut, but it still proved to be too much for Arden to handle .
The battle was concluded in that manner . Arden might be able to delay its death, but its demise was inevitable . Its body kept getting smaller, eventually to the size of a soccer ball .
As it was about to die, its psychic power erupted, clearing all of the anomalies within its system . Its body emitted intense light, about to undergo a transformation .
“Artifact Manifestation . ”
Sila, who stood next to it, hit it with the Thousand Ruptures Axe before it could do anything . The Thousand Ruptures Axe’s attack power was fixed at ten million points . Regardless of how great the final form of Arden was, now that its health points were less than ten million, it had no leeway left but to die without being able to reveal any remaining trump cards .
Three items dropped and flew into Sila’s pocket . He didn’t care what they were and planned to share them with his squad later . As such, he turned back to his team and spoke with a soft voice .
“Let’s go back . ”
Midnight nodded silently while the others, still confused, agreed . They all flew back to the top of the well, ready to receive the quest’s reward