Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 60
Leveling with the Gods
As the fist and sword clashed, the blastwave and mana rippled out in all directions.
The Fist Lord Pung BaekLim’s fist was wavering. Currently, he was fighting YuWon with all he had.
“Fight fairly, YuWon!” shouted the Fist Lord.
This was due to the faint energy of the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] that was emanating from YuWon.
“But I’m not doing anything underhanded, sir,” replied Yuwon.
The energy of the 「Dark Divine Crystal」 fired out of YuWon’s sword as he pushed away the Fist Lord. And in that short instance, they traded blows.
[You blocked The Fist Lord Pung BaekLim’s 47th technique.]
Naturally, messages regarding the continuation of the test popped up in front of YuWon.
That’s right. This was a test. A test where YuWon had to block only three techniques.
Everyone in the Heavenly Demonic Cult had thought this was an impossible test, yet despite that…
“Is that the real Heavenly Demon’s Spirit?”
“It seems so.”
“It doesn’t even have a proper form, but…”
YuWon was putting up an even fight against the Fist Lord.
“I heard he spent a whole month in the martial arts library. He must have obtained it there.”
“Is that where the Heavenly Demon’s Spirit is?”
“That’s nothing more than the bare-minimum form, but even if it’s just the shell, it’s still the Heavenly Demon’s Spirit.”
It wasn’t hard to figure out where YuWon had obtained the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit.] His whereabouts the past three months were no secret. However, that didn’t mean YuWon’s achievement was easy to discredit.
“This is just the second test, yet he’s managed to get his hands on the Heavenly Demon’s Spirit…”
The Sword Lord shivered, watching the energy radiating off of YuWon. He couldn’t believe this was a player that had just now reached the 10th Floor.
Other players, even with the help of the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit,] would have barely managed to stop three techniques from the Fist Lord. Actually, it was hard to even be sure of that.
The [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] might have had an absolute advantage over the martial arts of the Heavenly Demonic Cult, but this was nothing more than a shell of the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] at its most basic level. On the other hand, the Fist Lord was a Ranker who had been to the top of the Tower.
Despite that, YuWon was currently using that [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] to fight on equal footing with the Fist Lord.
“It’s quite possible…” the Sword Lord said while watching YuWon dash towards the Fist Lord, “that he might actually be worthy.”
* * *
* * *
Another attack was traded.
YuWon winced at the pain in his wrists. It was truly an awe-inspiring brute force.
[You blocked The Fist Lord Pung BaekLim’s 59th technique.]
The Fist Lord was flung back as far as YuWon was. He had become weaker due to the influence of the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit,] but as time went on, his attacks were intensifying.
‘Is he getting used to it?” thought YuWon.
Even for the Fist Lord, this was the first time he had fought against the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit.] It was only natural for him to be caught off-guard and fumble while reacting to it at first because, even for him, overcoming the uncomfortable feeling of aiming an attack at the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] was no easy task.
However, if that was the only factor, it didn’t explain how quickly the Fist Lord was becoming stronger.
‘It’s either that or my Heavenly Demon’s Spirit is weakening.’
It was most likely a combination of the two.
A spark flew off of the Fist Lord’s body that wasn’t from his attack.
‘The penalty,’ YuWon thought.
YuWon could instinctively feel the next attack was going to be a big one. So he stopped himself mid-swing and tightly gripped his sword with both hands. On top of that, he activated [Gigantification] and maximized the power output of the 「Dark Divine Crystal.」
The sword rang from the heavy impact.
Yuwon’s wrists ached again. Had he been using an ordinary sword, it would have been shattered into pieces.
‘I should thank Ahjussi,’ YuWon thought.
At the same time, three [Mana Blasts] appeared around YuWon and the Fist Lord.
The Fist Lord had known that YuWon was preparing a [Mana Blast,] yet he still ran at him, not caring about it.
[Colossal Fire x Mana Blast]
Fire rained down upon the Fist Lord.
YuWon widened the gap between them by a few steps.
The Fist Lord’s body was very lightly scorched.
“You’re really sturdy,” remarked YuWon.
“Be proud of the fact that you even managed to hurt me this much,” the Fist Lord snapped back.
With just a swing of his hand, he blew away the fire YuWon started with the [Mana Blasts.] It was clear that he wasn’t a Ranker just for show.
Unless the Fist Lord excessively exerted his power and got greatly impacted by the penalty, it wasn’t possible for YuWon to do proper damage against him by just using mana.
‘If only the Heavenly Demon’s Spirit was slightly more complete…’
YuWon shook his head while thinking of a few hypotheticals. His opponent wasn’t a brand new Ranker like Chryses.
To begin with, fighting the Fist Lord wasn’t a part of YuWon’s plan.
The Fist Lord patted down his clothes, more bothered that his martial arts uniform was scorched over his actual body.
“I can’t believe this,” the Fist Lord spoke in a baffled tone. “For me, Pung BaekLim, to be unable to defeat a greenhorn that just arrived on the 10th Floor.”
His words came from a place of pride over his skills, but anyone would have felt that way if they were in his shoes.
The players of the Tower called the players that haven’t been able to overcome the roadblock that is the 10th Floor ‘newbies.’ And technically YuWon was a newbie, even if he was on his way to clearing the 10th Floor.
In a fight between a newbie and a Ranker, the result was obvious. That was why this test had the hidden piece the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit,] as well as a limit of three techniques. Despite that…
“This kind of put a dent in my self-esteem,” the Fist Lord said while laughing out loud. Unlike earlier, this was a genuine laugh.
YuWon got into a stance. He didn’t have any more time to play around.
“The Heavenly Demon’s Spirit must be running out, seeing as how you’re rushing,” the Fist Lord said.
Of course the Fist Lord knew. It wasn’t a big secret. No matter how much of a genius YuWon was, it would be an impossible task for anyone to use the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] perfectly after having spent only a month learning it. So, naturally, it wouldn’t be possible to hold the technique for a long time.
“Come at me with all you’ve got,” said the Fist Lord.
Fortunately for YuWon, the Fist Lord’s personality worked to his favor. He was a man that didn’t know how to dodge. This was the reason why YuWon had picked the Fist Lord over the long-reaching Spear or the pretty standard Sword and Dao Lords.
The Fist Lord wanted to defeat YuWon before his [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] ended. He thought that would be the only way to recover at least a little bit of his pride.
The Fist Lord jumped.
YuWon in turn moved like a dancer.
“I don’t know where you learned such a thing, but that is also excellent!” the Fist Lord shouted while throwing out punches to break through YuWon’s defenses.
As their duel went on longer, bigger beads of sweat ran down YuWon’s forehead. And the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] that was being maintained behind him started to become fainter.
YuWon was at his limits.
‘It’s over,’ he thought.
The shape of the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] behind Yuwon disappeared. And at the same time, the force behind the Fist Lord’s punch changed.
It was an impact that felt like it could instantly snap his sword in half.
YuWon’s body was pushed far back.
[You blocked The Fist Lord Pung BaekLim’s 89th technique.]
The Fist Lord must have noticed the disappearance of the awkward feeling. He stopped for a second, opening and closing his fist, measuring his strength. Soon after, a smile came to his face.
“Finally, things get to be fun,” said the Fist Lord.
“But things just became un-fun for me.”
“Hahah! We’re just getting started. Don’t get wimpy on me now!”
The only thing YuWon could see was the punch coming towards him.
He swung his sword, cutting in right between his face and the Fist Lord’s fist.
YuWon flew back a distance of ten steps. For a second, he felt his body leave the ground.
YuWon noticed the clear difference. It was evident to him how much the Fist Lord had been bothered by the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit.]
‘He’s like a completely different person,’ he thought.
YuWon had to make a decision, stat. A full-frontal fight was no longer an option.
YuWon focused on maximizing the power of [Cinder Eyes.]
He could see it. The Fist Lord’s punch headed straight at him.
YuWon dodged the punch and tried to swing back, but…
‘I don’t have enough time,’ he thought.
He saw a punch coming in from the left. These movements were much more rapid than earlier.
YuWon felt a chill down his entire spine. He knew that if he took even a single hit, it would be bad.
Although he did have a pretty high Constitution, compared to his Strength or Arcane Power, it wasn’t all that impressive.
Just two hits. That’s all it would take for YuWon to be pummeled completely.
‘And that’s only if I manage to block it using Gigantification.’
YuWon looked at the Fist Lord’s eyes. He watched his eyes and his two hands and his feet. He tried to not miss a single movement of his muscles.
“Are you only going to dodge now?” said the Fist Lord.
He looked like he didn’t care either way. To begin with, it was nonsensical that YuWon was fighting him toe-to-toe. And now that the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] had worn off, the Fist Lord was confident that YuWon was no longer going to fight him head-on.
“Alright. Fine. Let’s see how long you can keep this up.”
Accepting the penalty, the Fist Lord continued to gather his ki. Large sparks flew around his hands while the martial arts training grounds started to become filled with his electric ki.
“This is beyond what is allowed in the rules—”
The Dao and Spear Lords tried to stop the Fist Lord, but the Sword Lord held them back.
“Let’s just watch.”
“Even the Heavenly Demon is simply spectating.”
With that, the Dao Lord and the Spear Lord finally noticed Cheon MuJin, the Heavenly Demon, watching the fight from the sidelines.
This was, of course, not the only reason why the Sword Lord stopped the other two. “The one taking the test doesn’t want it to stop either,” he said.
This test was being held because of YuWon. He was the examinee, and he had in fact already passed the test. The only reason this fight was continuing was because he had chosen to. If he wanted to give up, he could at any moment. But…
‘The fact that he hasn’t means that he still has something up his sleeve,’ the Sword Lord thought.
The first three techniques were dodged or blocked. After that, he fought head-on using the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit.] And now that the [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] had worn off, this would be the best opportunity to properly check his skills.
‘To neither be surprised nor afraid despite facing the power of a Ranker…’ the Sword Lord pondered while looking at YuWon’s eyes. ‘He really is indeed…’
The sound erupted from the fist that had gathered as much electric ki as it could.
The Fist Lord took a step towards YuWon, his fighting spirit at its peak.
With a single step, he dug a hole into the ground.
At the same time, YuWon started walking towards the Fist Lord.
‘He’s not avoiding me?’ the Fist Lord thought in surprise.
The [Heavenly Demon’s Spirit] had already worn off. YuWon no longer had a way to defend himself. He had assumed with how much power he had gathered, YuWon would naturally try to dodge it, but instead, Yuwon walked into his attack range.
The Fist Lord could feel it. This was a short yet much longer duel than he had originally anticipated. But all things must come to an end.
“Alright,” the Fist Lord said. “Let’s end this.”
To that end, the Fist Lord shot out a single punch.