Chapter 416: Chapter 416
Crunch, chew, crunch…
A man was munching on some bones—bones that had piled up into a small mountain and which used to belong to hundreds of thousands, no, millions of people. Those bones now resemble an eerie snow-covered mountain.
Only one being retained the color of flesh, and this being was the man chewing on the white bones. He had a pair of deeply sunken dark eyes that made him looked as though his eye sockets were hollow and that he was staring vacantly as he kept chewing.
Whether it was out of habit or because he genuinely found the bones tasty, he continued to munch on the bones. Whenever he finished devouring one piece, he would move onto the next one. He continued to munch and munch some more.
But then, his mouth and hands suddenly stopped moving. He then lowered the half-devoured bone to the ground. “What an amusing punk,” he muttered. Not a trace of emotion could be detected in such a flat-pitched utterance.
He had no emotions to feel that way, but his brain processed that word nonetheless. Even then, it was true that this man had never experienced a thought like this before.
He just said the word “Hound,” the slang to denote the proxies of the G.o.ds—the Apostles.
This man had encountered many Apostles before. In fact, a few of them were mixed in among the pile of bones he was currently sitting on.
The reason for that was simple enough—they were weak, while this man was strong. The weak were destined to become the prey and, subsequently, the nutrients for the strong. That was the law of the jungle, the unwritten rule that would never change.
“That’s right. I’m right here,” the man muttered again and then tossed the bone in his hand behind him.
A bone was still a bone regardless of where it came from, but even then, how bones tasted differed.
How a bone tasted was determined by the combined factors of a person’s level of magical energy and life force, plus a few other things, when a person was still alive. That was why this man only picked and devoured those bones that met his fastidious taste buds out of this large bone pile.
“Come at me, then. I’m getting curious about how your bones will taste.”
Although the distance between him and his new opponent was great, the two of them were definitely staring at each other right now.
The man was really looking forward to finding out how the bones of the Hound that had accurately seen through to where he was would taste.
“He really looks appetizing,” the man said as he salivated voraciously.
The man continued to dine on that bone pile of his, which was once millions of people of an empire’s capital that he destroyed for a tasty meal.
Su-hyeun stared at the creature—a man that was sitting on the pile of bones and leisurely snacking away—through the black fog.
“So, I guess that creature is Tyrant?”
The Tower’s system informed him of two things: one, the name of Tyrant and, two, the clue of a “game.”
That creature from just now didn’t seem to have any purpose for murdering people other than to have a meal. To him, this was far closer to an amusing distraction rather than an actual purpose, and the meal it was having right now was nothing more than some dessert rather than an overabundant feast.
Just for that, Tyrant destroyed a country, and most likely, this creature wouldn’t be satisfied with only that much.
“An ability based on some type of virus—something like that should be quite convenient when not wanting to lift a single finger, I guess,” he thought.
It was unknown whether the Predator called the Tyrant only had one ability related to viruses or it was merely a part of his repertoire.
However, one thing was for sure: Tyrant did possess an ability related to the manipulation of viruses, and those victims infected by the viruses would suddenly become indiscriminately aggressive to other nearby life forms.
On top of that, the infected target would also come to possess tenacious vitality and resistance toward physical damage. Not to forget, their physical strength would also be significantly enhanced.
The so-called zombies strengthened in such a manner would instantly become Tyrant’s army of the dead.
Even if Tyrant didn’t do anything else, the world found within the 199th floor’s trial would have turned into pandemonium filled with zombies in only a matter of days.
“If you do get infected, though, it’ll be a miracle to survive for 10 days or so.”
Normally, you weren’t shown the final fate of zombies in movies, but when you thought about it for a bit, you should be puzzled by such a thing. How would all these zombies continue to survive in a world filled with only zombies?
What would happen when there were no more humans or animals left to devour?
What about those special zombies that sometimes appeared, the ones with high physical strength and a truly resilient vitality? Where did they even acquire those powers from?
The answer was simple: they were abusing their dead bodies. As such, the flesh with all of its strength being squeezed out wouldn’t last for more than 10 days before losing all of its energy.
In other words, the moment the virus began circulating, this world had entered the 10-day-long countdown to an apocalypse.
“And this is the so-called game, isn’t it?”
For a game of amus.e.m.e.nt, this sure was a c.r.a.ppy one. Su-hyeun didn’t feel remotely amused at all.
“Hold on, did you just say Tyrant?”
It was at that moment that Su-hyeun’s necklace began humming.
He brought the necklace before his eyes. The voice coming from it belonged to Luslec.
“It’s been a while.”
“Yes, that’s right. Good to hear from you again, Mister Su-hyeun.”
“Me too. By the way, it sounds like you know that name, Tyrant?”
“Yes, that b.a.s.t.a.r.d is one of the One Hundred Evils. Uh, it’s about…Here it is. Right, it’s the 65th on the rankings.”
“Where did you get that info from?”
“Well, we have dossiers on Predators, you see. They contain the details of those Predators that became infamous. Although not every single Predator has been noted down, the names and special characteristics of around half of the One Hundred Evils are in our files.”
Luslec knew quite a lot about the Predators.
The One Hundred Evils were the creatures found on the outskirts of this ranking, which came after One Overlord, Three Destroyers, and Ten Great Evils.
Originally, Fafnir was one of the One Hundred Evils. Its current version was said to have stepped into the rank of the Ten Great Evils, but the version before the regression would’ve been stuck somewhere in this ranking.
Meaning, this particular Predator could serve as a yardstick to measure himself.
“Tyrant. A Predator that uses special viral infection to destroy several different dimensions and realms. Its main abilities are ‘regeneration’ and close-quarter combat, as well as casting curses using viruses. That’s what this b.a.s.t.a.r.d is known for.”
“That dossier thing, is that something in circulation among the Apostles?”
“No, not to everyone, but I did get my hands on one after going through so many hoops. If you need anything, just ask me. I’ll let you know everything there is to know.”
“Wait, is it okay to tell me any of these?”
“If it were up to me, I’d have already leaked the copy of this dossier to you. But if I do that, uh, I don’t think my punishment won’t end with just some heavy scolding, unfortunately.”
After his reply, Luslec’s laughter seeped out of the necklace. Then, the light s.h.i.+ning from the necklace soon dimmed. Maybe the sizeable distance between them was to blame for that.
“Thank you. I’ll get in touch next time,” Su-hyeun ended the communication with Luslec there. He then looked beyond as his eyes took on the blue hue. “Well, then. Let’s see…”
Clouds materialized below Su-hyeun’s feet.
It was the Somersault cloud. He lightly tapped the cloud with his foot after sensing the soft plushness below.
The power of the Somersault cloud, as well as the Palm Leaf, is maximized by the Sage Arts, a “cultivation technique.” The same could be said for the effects of the Divine Art, which evolved form of the Sage Arts, only that it happened to go beyond the level of simply maximizing powers.
Su-hyeun’s figure riding on the Somersault cloud instantly became a small dot in the sky before disappearing completely. A white trail had been left behind in the cloud’s wake as if someone used chalk to draw a line.
He could see tall outer walls in the far-off distance.
The walls, at least 100 meters tall, were installed in such a way that they could not be brought down no matter how powerful the magic attack was or how threatening siege weapons could be. Even the innate defenses of the walls themselves were top-notch.
The exterior was protected by special alloys, while the physical and magical means befitting a world with advanced magic engineering were utilized in full to maximize the defenses.
The outer walls didn’t have a single scratch, and no traces could indicate that it had been under attack.
However, Su-hyeun instantly figured out that not a single person was alive beyond those walls the moment he laid eyes on them.
The corpses of millions of people, or more accurately the bones belonging to them, lay beyond those walls, piled up into a small mountain.
Su-hyeun still riding on the Somersault cloud stared at the situation beyond the walls. A lone man was sitting on the pile of the bones, looking up at him.
“You got here sooner than I thought,” the man muttered in a rather relaxed manner while sitting in a lotus position. It seemed that this being didn’t find Su-hyeun appearing like this all that surprising to behold. “You found me so easily with only one look? I thought you’d need some time.”
“Well, your disgusting stench was detectable even way over there, you see. It wasn’t that hard to track you down.” Su-hyeun lightly jumped off from the Somersault cloud.
A sizeable city that lay beyond the walls was completely emptied out that no trace of people could be seen anywhere. Even a moron could tell what happened to them, though, and the man right in front of Su-hyeun’s eyes was the reason why they came to be nothing but countless skeletons.
“Disgusting stench, you say? Well, makes sense. There are so many corpses overflowing here, so it would’ve been even stranger if there had been no smell at all. Even then, they still taste great. If you’re curious, why don’t you grab a leg and find out for yourself?” Tyrant nonchalantly brought another bone to his lips while saying that.
Right at that moment…
Something came flying in and sliced apart the bone in Tyrant’s hand. When the bone about to enter his mouth broke off and clattered to the floor, the Predator stopped moving his hand and began shooting a sharp glare in Su-hyeun’s direction.
“You ain’t some hungry tramp, so you should think about eating later,” Su-hyeun said. He had already drawn a sword in his hand by then.
Despite being some distance away, Su-hyeun deliberately aimed not at Tyrant but at the bone he had in his hand. His purpose was to get on the Predator’s nerves, and his provocation worked like a charm.
Tyrant tossed the halved piece of bone behind him.
Having a meal could wait. Besides, all these bones were nothing more than tasty snacks before he was ready to move onto another world. “All these small fries will only spoil my taste buds, after all.”
He stared at Su-hyeun with a creepy grin and, at the same time, began drooling away.
A carnivore but also a gourmet—these two things could describe Tyrant’s “desires,” and at the moment, Tyrant believed that he could possibly be staring at the most delicious-looking prey he had ever run into since his birth.
Although he had devoured countless people up until now, he was certain that prey as delicious-looking as Su-hyeun would be a first.
“In that case, it’s time to recycle all this trash, then.”
Tyrant clapped his hands while saying that, which prompted strange noises to resound everywhere.
Crack, snap, break—
The noisy smacking and breaking sounds rang within Su-hyeun’s ears, and he instantly figured out the source of all those noises. “You also knew Necromancy, huh?”
“No need to dirty my hands, is there?” Tyrant perched himself on a chair made out of bones. As if he had become a king of death, he levitated high up into the air, along with his new bone throne. He rested his chin on his hand on the throne’s armrest and looked down at Su-hyeun below. “Why don’t you try to come up here after dealing with them? Once I’m done spectating your struggles, I may think about having a bit more fun with you.”
“Struggle, my foot.” Su-hyeun didn’t even pay any heed to the animated skeletons. “From the beginning, you aren’t the one in charge of these things.”
“What did you say?”
Just as Tyrant began making a puzzled face at that proclamation…
The throne he was sitting on abruptly made a strange movement. The bone throne altered its shape and became a sphere that wrapped around him.
Then, the ends of the bones became sharp fangs that crushed down Tyrant’s figure.