Chapter 431: Chapter 431
Everywhere Su-hyeun walked past, jets of blood shot up from the ground along with crimson clouds, and the closer he got to the altar, the strength of the s.p.a.ce Kali ruled grew stronger and stronger. Although he had burned everything down with his flames, the situation didn’t improve.
To Su-hyeun, it felt like the blood flow within his body was reversing due to this s.p.a.ce created by Kali herself.
Her authority—her power—was the power to rule “blood.”
The skies and the ground below dyed in crimson—the blood found within this s.p.a.ce—belonged to Kali, even the blood that was not hers. You would have to exhaust quite a large amount of energy to free from her control.
However, purple-hued flames were burning vigorously within this s.p.a.ce.
“Wow, it’s burning so well,” Su-hyeun muttered to himself while staring at the flames scorching the color of blood out of this place.
His blood, wanting to flow backward, regained its stability as if the previous matter didn’t happen in the first place. This was because the power to rule this s.p.a.ce had been ripped out of Kali’s hands and now belonged to him.
A loud cry of an ox crying broke out, which prompted Su-hyeun to turn his head to look in its direction.
Out in the middle of a mountain, quite a distance away, an ox that was probably previously grazing peacefully on gra.s.s was crying out tragically as blood poured out from all of its orifices.
Not too long after that, the eyes of the ox rolled, and the animal collapsed to the ground. It finally died after suffering miserably from the reversing blood flow.
Without a doubt, all life forms that dared to venture into this s.p.a.ce would suffer the same fate.
The power to rule over all blood would prove to be fatal to any life form out there—an absolute power indeed.
The range of the flames rapidly expanded. Soon, the area of flames Su-hyeun had created completely blanketed the terrain.
Animals found in the mountains, with blood leaking out from their eyes and noses, thrashed about in fear but soon calmed down. They seemed to have realized that the flames weren’t harming them.
Soon after that, the blood-colored clouds covering the skies began moving. They descended and surrounded Su-hyeun. Almost at the same time, the bodies of blood, spread over a wide area, rapidly gathered in one place with Su-hyeun in the center.
This blood-colored fog began constricting his body next.
The blood bound his arms and legs, while it tried to seep into his flesh, but right at that moment, a bright spot of light flashed above his head.
Thunder roared a bit later. The streak of lightning landed right above Su-hyeun’s head.
The blood that confined him accidentally became a sort of armor protecting him. The choking heat and sharp electric current scorched the blood black, hardening it like a brittle rock before it all crumbled to bits.
“Hmm.” Su-hyeun lightly dusted all the blood crust off his body. Then, he s.h.i.+fted his gaze over to the ma.s.sive altar looming largely in his view. “Miru.”
“Don’t get angry at me and please listen, okay? Let me down and go back inside.”
When Su-hyeun said that, Miru suddenly bared its fangs. However, the dragon wasn’t growling at him; its animosity was directed at a certain creature hiding within that altar instead.
Not too long after that, Miru did as Su-hyeun asked and neatly folded its wings before disappearing from the view. Seeing how agitated his red dragon was, Su-hyeun figured that Miru wouldn’t be dozing off anytime soon.
As soon as Su-hyeun climbed down from Miru’s back and landed on the ground again, he quietly walked over to the altar. Some distance was still left before he could actually reach the structure, but since it was so humongous, he thought that he might actually touch it by extending his hand right now.
“Come out already,” he challenged, but no reply came his way.
However, now that Su-hyeun was this close, he could sense Kali better and tell that she was definitely here.
“Well, if you’re scared, you can always try to escape.”
The ground rumbled quietly; then, the noise of water smas.h.i.+ng into each other to create huge waves suddenly came to him.
This world didn’t have any oceans, so upon hearing waves cras.h.i.+ng like this, he began to wonder what was going on here. It was only then that he noticed the walls and the roof of the altar turning bright crimson.
The entire structure was being transformed into blood; all those flowing blood was responsible for making the wave noises by splas.h.i.+ng around.
‘The entire altar was made out of blood, is that it?’ he thought.
There was a reason why he could sense her powers so vividly here. This altar, which was last to be built and possessed the scale of a small country, was actually constructed solely from Kali’s blood.
The blood rapidly concentrated and coagulated. A portion floated up in the air, while the other portions continued to gather into a singular ma.s.s.
The gathered blood soon morphed into a figure of a slender woman.
“You said I should escape?” The blood ma.s.s was soon covered in “skin,” creating a face. The first to be completed was her lips from which a seductive voice said, “How can I do that when it’s already so much fun?”
A woman with bronze skin and whose hair was tied up finally appeared before him. She outwardly resembled Kalira, with four arms and all. Her long tongue snaked in and out, and on her bloodstained forehead, another eye slowly opened.
Not a thread covered her alluring and bare figure, but she didn’t emit any trace of sensuousness nor seductiveness at all. No, all those accessories and equipment adorning her figure in place of proper clothing imparted a bizarre and ominous feeling instead.
A monster that closely resembled a human—that was probably the best description for her.
Su-hyeun asked her, “Where are the others?”
“The other Predators under you. There are still five of them left, right?”
The number of Predators Su-hyeun took care of so far had been four—Brahma, Zawucheon, Anubis, and Kalira. And now that Kali was standing before his eyes, it meant that five other Predators still remained somewhere.
“Oh, you were talking about them?” Kali’s long tongue flickered as she smirked deeply at Su-hyeun’s question.
Right after that…
The pool of blood surrounding Kali suddenly began undulating to morph into bizarre shapes, moans of agony coming from them.
Those shapes, now taking on the forms of various monsters making tortured expressions, were none other than the Predators that had been serving Kali.
“To think that they willingly offered themselves up as sacrifices, what loyal children they are. I am truly grateful.”
“Willingly, you say?” Su-hyeun stared at the Predators moaning and howling in pain with distressed faces.
They were miserably thras.h.i.+ng about, begging to be let go and saying that they were in too much pain. One of them even begged to be killed.
They seemed to be stuck in a state where they were neither alive nor dead. Thinking about the number of people they had killed so far, this sort of treatment seemed a bit tame overall, but even then…
‘I still don’t like it,’ Su-hyeun thought.
Whatever the case might have been, those creatures were loyal to Kali. Whether their reason was out of pure respect or subservience in front of greater power, it didn’t matter; Kali shouldn’t have rewarded their loyalty in such a manner.
Su-hyeun growled out, “As I thought, 10 out of 10, I just can’t find anything to like about your kind.”
“Is that so? However, I do find you very much to my liking.”
The surrounding s.p.a.ce was getting dyed in pure crimson. This one’s level was on another realm compared to the previous s.p.a.ce that tried to obstruct Su-hyeun earlier.
Suddenly, he sensed his blood flow reversing again. He quickly roused up his prana and spread it out to the rest of his body; although only by a little bit, his body soon regained its stability.
“When I drink your blood, I may finally get to cash out from this lifestyle.” Kali licked her lips.
It seemed that she was planning to add Su-hyeun to that pool of blood containing the five Predators.
She grew stronger through blood. Without a doubt, all those innumerable people offered up as sacrifices until now were trapped in there too.
Su-hyeun thought, ‘When she said cas.h.i.+ng out from here, does she mean she’s ready to go kill Fafnir?’
Kali had built her nest on this planet for quite a long time. Even the history of Pangaean residents that believed in these G.o.ds went back tens of thousands of years, which implied that Kali had been staying here for just as long.
Her stay here probably had something to do with getting ready to fight Asura, but now that her longtime rival was dead, Kali had no choice but to change her target.
Su-hyeun popped his knuckles. The surroundings were now the s.p.a.ce of blood, and within were the five Predators and the souls of countless humans.
He knew that he must not get distracted by them. Their souls should be freed when Kali died, so he simply had to focus on the monster standing right before his eyes and nothing else.
“Fuu-wuu.” Su-hyeun exhaled at length and unsheathed his sword. Taut tension invaded his entire frame, and thick sweat droplets soaked his back.
It had been a really long time since he felt this tense.
A long time, indeed.
For sure, he stopped feeling this tense before a fight from a certain moment in time—not even back when he became a full-fledged G.o.d and was about to begin his fight against the Predator named Tyrant, not even when he fought the three Predators including Kalira earlier, and certainly not when he faced down hundreds of millions of knights to destroy the Altar.
He didn’t feel tense at all back then.
But now, his tension was steadily creeping up, even if it was only by a little. However, it wasn’t because his opponent today was too strong for him nor was she someone he couldn’t handle.
‘Right, I used to do this, didn’t I?’ he thought.
He was reminded of something at this very moment. In the past, Su-hyeun used to psych himself up to some degree before a fight. He did that to calmly reorganize his heads.p.a.ce before a big fight and to maintain his sharpness so that he would not let his guard down.
It was basically a habitual action—a spell even.
But why was this? Why hadn’t he been doing that lately?
He figured out the reason quickly enough. ‘I guess none of them had been what I would call a proper fight.’
Even if it was the act of psyching himself up to a suitable level for an upcoming battle, at the end of the day, he was still “psyching himself up.” A minimum level of tension must be present so that he could psych himself up willingly. Only when that level was breached would he feel truly tense, and the creature before his eyes, Kali, was strong enough for his tension to breach that level.
The prana within his body began fluttering. To Su-hyeun, it felt like his prana had gained a functioning ego to shout at him, telling him to use it. It was the same story for the seed of the World Tree.
The energies whirring inside Su-hyeun’s body began waking up one by one, and even though he didn’t will it to happen, it just happened naturally.
Winds swirled around the sword he had in his grip. The Somersault cloud wrapped around him and became a st.u.r.dy armor, while hot flames lit up below his feet and spread out everywhere.
Enormous waves of magical energy spun and viciously whipped around with Su-hyeun in the center.
Kali watched all this happen and then held up a sword, s.h.i.+eld, a noose, and a skull in each of her hands.
“Yes, hurry and come at me.” Kali’s lips distorted into a cruel grin as she spoke.
She was genuinely enjoying this. At least she was similar to Kalira in this regard—or more correctly, Kalira resembled Kali.
Su-hyeun began walking up to Kali. With every step he took, a path of flames appeared from his footsteps.
On his right hand, he had the G.o.dhood of wind contained within the Palm Leaf sword.
On his left hand, he had the G.o.dhood of thunder and lightning from the Somersault cloud and the Thunder Glove.
He unleashed all of their powers and leaped high.
At the same time, the crimson wave of blood that wrapped around Kali exploded forward to devour him.
The wave of blood instantly swallowed Su-hyeun up.
Kali, while wielding a skull with one hand that controlled all this overflowing blood, made a somewhat deflated expression. “I have expected too much from you, it seems.”
She even sounded disappointed.
In all honesty, she didn’t expect Su-hyeun to die so quickly after a simple attack like this. She saw him as nothing more than a hurdle, the final test, for herself, but this whole battle ended far easier than she thought it would.
Of course, the battle wasn’t over yet, but breaking out from the pool of blood after getting trapped inside would be incredibly hard to pull off. Even if he did manage to break out, he wouldn’t look the same.
“I at least expected you to be on par with that fool, Asura, but maybe I was being too greedy with—”
Right at that moment, a thin but long line suddenly drew past the wave of blood Kali had created.
Almost at the same time, Kali’s vision suddenly divided in half.
Just as she got fl.u.s.tered by this development…
Her vision swayed before being dyed in crimson color.
She raised a hand and touched her face. Blood trickling down from her forehead covered her eyes. Her third eye up there had been sliced apart.
Right after that…
The wave of blood was sliced apart, and Su-hyeun’s figure emerged from within..