Chapter 411: Chapter 411
“Blow away, Palm Leaf,” Su-hyeun decided to gently welcome the other party first.
The winds swirling around his sword extended forward in a strand. Magical energy powerful enough to create a typhoon had forcibly compressed all those winds that would’ve normally gone to cause a storm. The winds, now tightly condensed into a single strand, rapidly extended forward according to the sword’s trajectory.
The wind rushed toward Fafnir’s figure, only to dissipate without a trace before reaching its target. A black barrier materialized by the staff in the Predator’s extended hand answered Su-hyeun’s attack.
It was one of the abilities Su-hyeun saw in the illusion that the Bull Demon King had shown him before.
“Who are you?” Fafnir asked, which was something he didn’t do in the past.
Of course, Su-hyeun wasn’t thinking of answering. Right now, his whole body was burning up in the antic.i.p.ation of finally having a go at Fafnir.
[Armor of the Mage]
[Sky King’s Feather]
[Flame – Territory Declaration]
[Flame – Armor of Fire]
Many skills were activated on Su-hyeun’s body. Half of those happened to be the ones he had prepared just for this occasion—one where he’d be battling a powerful magic-user.
This was a battle that Su-hyeun had simulated thousands, no, tens of thousands of times in his mind. Therefore, at this very moment, he utilized the findings and experiences from them to their fullest extent.
A sharp and deadly sword strike enveloped in the divine Flame shot forward. Fafnir had to take a step back at that attack overflowing with magical energy and superheated flames.
“It seems that you don’t wish for a conversation.”
Fafnir’s voice was the same as Su-hyeun remembered. He had come face to face with the Predator and heard its voice only once in the past, but even then, he had never forgotten how the creature sounded.
“Conversation, my foot.”
Su-hyeun’s figure darted and landed behind Fafnir.
“No need to chat to a b.a.s.t.a.r.d who wrecked my home.”
The energy that gushed out from Fafnir’s hand swept Su-hyeun’s figure away, but the latter’s sword that sliced across finely nicked the Predator’s throat.
Its scales were ever so slightly cut open. Crimson blood leaked out from its wound, while Su-hyeun was shoved back as dark “dust” caked his figure.
Fafnir was surprised, “You’re a Hound?”
The Predator used the word “Hound”—the slang word that circulated among the Predators to denote the proxies of the G.o.ds, the Apostles—yet Su-hyeun still didn’t find any value in replying even now.
“Strike down mercilessly…”
He still addressed the Somersault cloud up in the skies.
A bolt of humongous lightning was concentrated in one spot and crashed to the ground. It was also during this moment that Fafnir’s figure glowed white.
Even if it was none other than Fafnir, there was simply no way that it could roundly ignore the lightning strike from the Somersault cloud, which had been highly concentrated in one spot.
A thin barrier of energy materialized around Fafnir. This barrier managed to absorb as much damage as possible, but it still failed to perfectly protect the creature from the lightning.
Fafnir rubbed its torso with its hand. With the sword nick on its throat and the burn wound from the lightning, it had been injured twice now.
“Surprisingly painful, I see,” the Predator glared at Su-hyeun. Unlike the beginning, it no longer looked down on Su-hyeun. It acted disdainfully earlier because, even at this very moment where Su-hyeun was encountering Fafnir for the “first time,” it was a powerful existence ranked among the One Hundred Evils.
“You know who I am. Am I wrong?”
Su-hyeun, planning to ignore every attempt at conversation, heard that and paused for a moment.
A creature that was nothing more than an illusion had managed to figure out this situation and was trying to talk back to him.
“I see. I’m just an illusion, too.”
Not only that but the Predator even figured out what it was.
“Which means that the current me was recreated from your memories.”
Fafnir the Predator was born when Bradley devoured the heart of a black dragon. He used to be an outstanding knight and the emperor of a world and, at the same time, an excellent magician.
As such, Fafnir was able to quickly figure out its true nature. It noticed that its own construction was different from what it remembered and quickly realized that something about this situation was unnatural.
However, rather than getting fl.u.s.tered by the revelation, Fafnir remained composed as it continued to speak, “You have already faced me before. Have you not?”
Su-hyeun reined in his quickened breathing. Excessive tension and agitation were not that different from fighting after ingesting poison, but thanks to his breathing technique, his rushed breathing returned to the state before the fight began.
Su-hyeun regained his cool and finally replied, “That’s right. I have faced you before.”
“So you finally have decided to answer me,” Fafnir chuckled, baring its fangs. It seemed to be happy that its hypothesis was right.
“In that case, I should be in a state that you are familiar with. It seems that you see me as a rather omnipotent being and an arrogant creature as well.”
Those observations were right on the money. Fafnir’s current personality was based on Emperor Bradley from the 100th floor’s trial. As for its abilities, they were based on the Bull Demon King’s illusion.
This interpretation of Fafnir was not as strong as the one from the illusion, but even then, it still wouldn’t be far off to call this version near-omnipotent with its current set of abilities.
“Honestly speaking, I don’t know much about you.” Indeed, Su-hyeun knew only one thing. “But what I do know is that I must kill you.”
“Is it resentment? No, it’s something else.”
The light within Fafnir’s eyes deepened as it stared at Su-hyeun. It was as if the Predator was seeing right through him.
At such a response, Su-hyeun took another swing with his sword.
Fafnir’s shoulder was sliced open, and more blood splattered into the open. Su-hyeun watched that happen with burning eyes. “Doesn’t matter what it is, really.”
“Yes. And it’s the same story for me.”
The color of the skies changed. A huge shadow loomed over everything as Fafnir raised its staff in the air.
“I, too, was given life in order to kill you. Therefore, I shall do everything in my power to achieve that goal.”
The skies had become completely dark now. The sunlight that was baking the ground was completely blocked out by a humongous falling asteroid big enough to blanket the entirety of Guangzhou.
It was Fafnir’s power.
“Well, at least we’re on the same page, then.”
Su-hyeun gripped a spear with his left hand. This spear made of adamantium was given to him by Kim Dae-ho.
He arched his body like a bow.
[Wave Spear – Explosion Style]
Divine Flames and prana gathered at the tip of the spear. The two forms of energy ama.s.sing there amplified the Explosion Style, causing the spear to vibrate as if it would shatter at any moment.
One, two, three…!
Su-hyeun counted to three in his head before throwing his upper body forward and releasing the spear.
It slammed right in the center of the falling meteor. More correctly, it hit the center of the sole “Gyeol” of the meteor that would shatter it to countless pieces.
The meteor broke apart and shattered into innumerable smaller pieces.
As the powdered debris of the meteor fell all around him, Su-hyeun charged right into Fafnir’s defenses.
The ground split apart, and one side tilted precariously before breaking apart and cras.h.i.+ng further below.
The ripples caused an earthquake, and on top of this broken-off section of terrain, another ma.s.sive meteor fell.
The meteor’s debris exploded and shot up everywhere. Su-hyeun smartly used them as his footholds and leaped high into the air. At the same time, he gripped his sword tightly with one hand and rapidly rushed toward Fafnir’s location.
His sword and Fafnir’s hard scales collided, causing Su-hyeun’s body to be shoved far, far back. His other arm dangled limply. As for Fafnir, the lower portion of its shoulder had been cut open wide, and blood gushed out gruesomely from the wound.
Su-hyeun used his still-functioning arm to stab the sword on the ground to support his figure. His heavy breathing seemed to echo.
“Mm…” the Predator unintelligibly uttered.
The battle between these two had been going on for half a day already.
Su-hyeun’s magic energy reserve was almost empty since he hadn’t been holding himself back. Even his complexion was deathly pale after he exhausted his prana supply.
Despite all that, Su-hyeun could claim one thing.
A paper-thin line was drawn on Fafnir’s waist. Not too long after that, blood began gus.h.i.+ng out from that thin red line. The Predator’s torso began sliding to the side before it slammed to the ground, leaving behind its lower torso.
Its body had been severed in half.
Fafnir was just as exhausted as Su-hyeun was; it had already stopped using magic for a while, perhaps because its own magical energy reserve had run dry, too.
It didn’t seem to have died instantly since Fafnir still managed to force its head up from the ground.
However, no life-form would be able to continue fighting with this sort of blood loss.
Su-hyeun plopped down on his rear when all of his tension left him.
He hadn’t been aware of it due to his own alertness and tension, but he, too, had exceeded his body’s fatigue limit a while ago. Still, he wasn’t suffering from wounds that were grave enough to threaten his life.
While sitting on the ground, Su-hyeun observed the collapsed and bleeding Fafnir.
The task had been difficult, and the level of relief and refreshment he felt easily matched such difficulty.
This whole thing was nothing more than an illusion, but a victory was still a victory. He felt a sense of relief rush in, although he couldn’t understand what kind of relief it was.
He briefly thought that with this level of power, maybe he could also emerge victorious against the real deal, only to smirk at his own foolish thoughts.
“It seems you are happy about defeating me,” Fafnir suddenly spoke to him. Despite facing its impending demise, the Predator remained composed.
That made some sense, however. This being was already aware of the fact that it was not a real living creature but simply an illusion based on Su-hyeun’s memories.
From the get-go, it didn’t even exist. Thus, it made sense that the Predator wouldn’t fear losing its life.
“That’s right. I’m really happy.”
“But why are you happy? For what, exactly?”
Fafnir’s question managed to completely wipe out any trace of Su-hyeun’s smile.
In simple terms, it was rather obvious that winning was better than losing. At the very least, Su-hyeun had never seen anyone being pleased about losing.
In any case, there was a reason why Su-hyeun was happy about defeating Fafnir today, even though the latter was nothing more than an illusion.
“It’s because now I have hope that I can probably defeat the real you.”
Even if it was an illusion, he still won against it. Not only that but this Fafnir before his eyes was based on the memories shared by the Bull Demon King.
It might have been weakened compared to “Fafnir” the Yogoe had fought, but regardless of what, Su-hyeun still managed to win against it.
Although faint, he could see the possibility here, and that was enough for him.
“In that case, allow me to ask you this. What is your reason for wanting to defeat me?”
“You do not resent me nor hate me. The way you look at me, it’s as if…”
What Fafnir said next made Su-hyeun’s heart crash to the pit of his stomach.
“Yes, it’s as if you’re looking at a heavy burden.”
Those two words caused Su-hyeun’s brows to shoot up.
Not even once did he think about it before. “It” being his own emotions regarding Fafnir.
Just as the Predator had said, Su-hyeun’s emotions regarding Fafnir were quite far removed from things like resentment and hatred—and even the desire for revenge.
Su-hyeun wasn’t trying to fight Fafnir out of his personal vendetta or anything like that. No, his reason was something else.
“It’s to not repeat the past,” he realized.
That was his only reason.
The destroyed world and all those people who lost their lives way before the planet died—their figures and silhouettes brushed past Su-hyeun’s memories.
As if to drive its message home, Fafnir opened its mouth once more, “I see. You are a slave to your past, aren’t you?”
The past—that was Su-hyeun’s biggest lingering regret.