Just what happened was uncertain, but this was for sure. That man is dangerous – The lich had lived for more than a century, but something like this was a first.
'Magic reflection… no… it's not that. If he had such a protection on him, my attack shouldn't have worked at all.'
The lich put his hand against the wall to support himself. To a monster classified as a lich, the physical body did not mean much. The thing it needed to 'survive', was the 'lifeforce vessel' that they gain through the contract where they give up their body and soul. As long as the lifeforce vessel is intact, a mere body could be reconstructed anytime.
In other words, physical damage did not mean much to a lich. However, mental damage was a different story. To a lich, this was the most fatal type of attack – a mind attack.
'That thing… just what is his identity?'
His magic was reflected. It wasn't simply reflected. The magic that returned… was fatal enough to almost destroy the lich's mind. Even the hidden lifeforce vessel received damage.
'It did not reflect any other types of magic. But… the magic that read and subdued his mind was reflected. What is it? Just what kind of protection…?'
There were several suspicious things about him. The Demon King of Fear, that the lich had contracted with, had refused that man's soul as offering. "I cannot accept it," the Demon King had said, and the lich had to give up his precious magic stone to compensate for summoning the Demon King.
"Damn. Just what is going on…!"
The lich kept moving while uttering in frustration. Due to the reflected mental damage, it was very hard to move, and it was impossible to cast any magic. Never did he think that he would be put in such a state by a mere human, and on the level of a peak-level expert.
'First, I need to regain the lost mana….'
The lich walked while dragging his robes. Sungmin… he did not touch his hands on. This was fear – something that the lich hadn't felt in a long time.
The lich headed to the place where he imprisoned Xeon and the other S-rank mercenaries. This was a deeper place than his workshop. Here, the lich was researching into his dearest wishes, that lead him to becoming a lich in the first place.
The lich looked at the two hearts floating in the air. They were required to implement his ultimate chimera research – mix two different species to create the ultimate artificial lifeform. This was the pursuit of chimerology.
The reason he made a chimera out of an ogre, was because he thought the ogres to be close to the ultimate beings in terms of land monsters that walked on two feet. However, the results weren't satisfactory. First, it looked hideous, and second, it was hard to control. The life that the lich wanted to create was more beautiful, and stronger.
That heart was the ultimate essence of the lich's research. If there was a flaw, it was that the body that would be its vessel was flawed. Originally, he was going to offer the soul with the twisted karma, and perfect the flawed body before transplanting the heart.
However, it had failed. The offering was refused. This was a first. The lich looked up at the heart and gritted his teeth. It didn't matter. He didn't want to touch that mysterious human, but he first had to leave this place with the heart, after refilling his mana. The lich approached the mercenaries.
"Cute little thing. Pretending to be asleep."
The lich laughed. At those words, Xeon, who was out, flinched a little. Due to the magic backfire, the magic he had cast beforehand, was dispelled. Although the other mercenaries were still out of themselves, Xeon, who was the best among them, had woken up and laid low.
"Did you try to ambush me when I showed an opening? Forget about it. Even if I'm not in my normal state, I can play with you like a toy."
The lich's words were the truth. Xeon, who pretended to be unconscious, bit his lips and stood up. The lich ignored him and made hand seals. The bodies of the mercenaries around Xeon started floating in the air.
"It's annoying… very annoying. To think it would go like this… I thought that the coming days will be full of joy… so it turns out mere mortals cannot be sure of the future…."
The lich spoke inexplicable words and stole energy from the mercenaries. Eventually, they collapsed on the ground, mummified. Seeing that, Xeon's body trembled.
"…Will… I become like that too?"
"Huh? No, not you."
The lich felt like living again now that he regained his mana. He laughed in pleasure as he looked at Xeon.
"I'm going to use you in a much more valuable matter. Yes. a soul of your caliber…."
The lich's body trembled. Xeon's eyes widened. Prescan – this was the lich's name. The lich turned his head around while trembling.
A man was looking at the lich. The lich had its back against him, and did not realize that the man was here, and so was Xeon. That man… appeared out of nowhere like a ghost.
"I finally found you. To think you'd be hiding in a place like this…."
The man clicked his tongue as he muttered. The lich, Prescan, felt panic with shock and trembled.
"So it seems you didn't forget."
Lloyd shrugged his shoulders and laughed. He slowly approached Prescan and raised his hand.
"It's been 10 years, hasn't it? I've been looking for you for ten years."
"You… tenacious bastard…! You were still coming after me!?"
"Yeah. It was a boring pursuit. But you… what happened to you? You look weaker than you were ten years ago."
Prescan did not reply. Never did he imagine that Lloyd would find him here today. This was some damned fate.
"Well… I guess that isn't my problem. Even if I kill you here, I do not know where you hid your lifeforce vessel. Looks like it will be a boring pursuit again. Well, first is killing you here."
Lloyd took a big step. Seeing Lloyd, Xeon felt a huge pressure and trembled. Although he was at the very limits of peak-level and was close to the exceeds, the pressure that Lloyd was giving out as he approached Prescan wasn't something he could go against.
Prescan shouted as he made hand seals. Immediately, magic energy shot up from below his feet. Lloyd snorted as he saw Prescan using magic. He also created hand seals, and the black magic energy that assaulted Lloyd was pushed back by a bright golden light.
"Even you at your full power will not be able to confront me. And you want to face me in your current state?"
"You… damned monster.!"
"Who's calling who a monster."
Lloyd laughed mockingly. The golden light from Lloyd lightened up the dark cave. Prescan retreated a few steps back, and was faced with a decision. At this rate, he would receive fatal damage and lose his body, and will return to where his lifeforce vessel is. If that was the end of it, Prescan would have chosen that without hesitation.
However, it wasn't. The two hearts. They were the ultimate goal of the wishes that eventually led him to becoming a lich. In the end, Prescan bit his lips and shouted. (T/N: He had lips!?)
"Open your eyes!"
When he shouted, the hearts made a horn-like sound. One of the hearts thumped out like mad and enormous amounts of magic energy swirled around it. Lloyd flinched and looked at the air. He left the two hearts alone because he couldn't feel anything from it, but it wasn't like that now. The magic energy that the thumping heart pumped out as well as the ominous feeling was enough to threaten Lloyd.
"You… just what…!"
Prescan shouted out loud. Although this was a forced decision, Prescan felt deep admiration and fear towards his ultimate creation. The swirling magic energy became a body. Lloyd hurriedly created hand seals and shot magic towards the heart, but his magic dissipated in the air without even approaching it.
The body was complete. What came down took form of a very young girl. However, it wasn't human. The ominous magic energy that the heart generated was inside the girl's body.
"You.. just… what did you make…?"
Lloyd stuttered. Prescan opened his arms wide and shouted.
"The ultimate existence!"
As though answering to his reply, the girl opened her eyes. Although he did shout those words, both the heart and the body were still incomplete. Moreover, due to the urgent situation, no tuning was done either. Despite that, he had to do this in order to break through this situation.
'I just need to perfect the remaining one. For now….'
The girl's state was strange. She only stood there blankly, and did not take any action. Prescan, who was looking at the girl's back, suddenly shouted.
"Kill that man!"
The girl did not reply. She only looked up into the air blankly. The remaining heart in the air was silent. Lloyd's wary gaze towards the girl flinched. Although he didn't know how things were going, this was a perfect opportunity for him.
Lloyd changed the form of his hand seals.Craash! A golden wave assaulted the girl. The girl's eyes at the heart lowered. Poof! Lloyd's magic that was attacking the girl dissipated into thin air. Watching as the phenomenon reverted to pure mana, Lloyd's mouth gaped.
'Dispel? No, that's not right. My magic was dispelled? Without a single incantation!?'
Prescan shouted in excitement. The girl turned his head around hearing that. Prescan stiffened up after seeing the eyes of the girl that looked at him. Although her emotionless eyes did not contain murderous intent, it did not contain any other emotions either. Prescan took a step back while looking at the lifeless eyes as that of a doll.
"Wha…. what. I'm your master, no, I'm your father!"
The girl nodded her head and answered. For a very brief instant, pity flashed in her eyes. Instead, her eyes turned to Xeon.
"That's fine, right?"
"I am hungry."
The girl muttered. Before Prescan could do anything –
It happened in an instant. The girl was somehow before Xeon, and Xeon, an inner disciple of the Shaolin, and a peak-level expert, did not notice her approaching. Before Xeon could even react, death erased his consciousness out of his body.
Xeon died like that.
The girl pulled out her hand from Xeon's chest. Prescan dumbfoundedly watched the girl from her back. Lloyd also became speechless. Both of them did not see the girl's movements.
The girl stared at Xeon's heart in her hand, before opening her mouth wide and taking a bite out of it.
Prescan laughed in delight, and
Lloyd became more hostile.
T/N: What the hell is up with this obsession with overpowered lolis….
Yep… just like that. Xeon died.
Next chapter teaser: Sungmin's encounter with Lloyd… and Lloyd's identity; And he gains a mysterious new power…?