Episode 155

Secret Area, The Forgotten Relics Of The Gods (3)
3 weeks ago
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The types of traps.

And their patterns.

Methods to solve and strategize according to the pattern and type.

Understanding all of them, he proceeded without a single mistake and broke through.

His movements were like those of a skilled thief.

Moreover, the Relic of the Forgotten God did not allow for the usage of Reconnaissance.

Everything was understood through his own experience and analysis.

“It was easier than I thought.”

Taesan himself was surprised. He had never broken through traps this quickly before. There were errors, it took more time, and sometimes he made mistakes.

But this time, it was a perfect strategy.

“Is it thanks to this skill?”

The skill to feel the will of everything, ???.

It was hard to express in words, but he could sense something from the traps. Thanks to that, it’s likely he intuitively figured out the strategy.

“Not bad.”

He felt good about this unexpected help, as it had taken quite a long time to see any real effect.

Taesan checked the trap he had collected while breaking through.

[Blessed Net of God]
[A net once used by a god himself. Now a relic of a forgotten god, its value has significantly decreased.]

“This will be useful.”

A net that was barely cut in half using Mephisto’s magic.

It seemed like it could be useful in various situations.

Taesan moved on.

No more traps were in sight. At the end of the endless corridor, he found a small door.

Upon opening the door, there was a statue of a goddess faded with time and an ashen knight.

[You have encountered the Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess.]

“Apostle?”

Taesan frowned.

As if confirming what he saw was real, a system window appeared.

[The opponent is a difficult enemy to defeat.]
[Desire for Battle has been activated.]
[A Fair Duel has been activated.]
[Proof of Limit has been activated.]
[Disdain for the Strong has been activated.]
[Half-God Theory has been activated.]
[Giant Killer has been activated.]

Strength filled his body. All speeds increased, and both attack and defense power rose.

“Why do Apostles appear so frequently?”

Taesan muttered as he drew two swords.

[You have activated Reconnaissance.]

As with most things related to the Forgotten Goddess so far, no information was forthcoming.

So much time had passed that the Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess was rotting and crumbling away.

The knight, who looked like he would crumble with a touch, lifted his sword.

Clink.

The sword, like the knight, was completely corroded.

Taesan narrowed his eyes, observing this sequence of events.

“Does it lack intelligence?”

Only the will to protect the goddess was evident from the silently sword-wielding knight.

Boom!

The knight stamped his foot. With a sword that seemed like it would crumble at a touch, he struck down at Taesan.

Clang!

Taesan’s knees buckled, feeling an intense pressure on his arm.

‘Powerful.’

Even with a significant stat increase due to the challenging opponent’s skill, there was a clear difference.

He possessed a class and strength incomparable to Cain.

He probably conquered even the deep layers in his lifetime.

There was no time or leisure to delay. Taesan immediately activated Apostle Transformation. After returning from the gods’ battlefield and resting, the day’s cooldown had passed.

[You have activated Apostle Transformation [Lakiratas].]

Divine power filled his body.

A flood of various information entered Taesan’s mind, enhancing his entire body.

Clang!

Taesan pushed the sword away. The corroded knight took a step back.

Taesan slightly frowned.

‘Nothing?’

Even in the overwhelming tide of information, there was nothing about the Forgotten Goddess.

But there was no time to ponder. Taesan lifted his sword.

[You have activated Apostle Slayer.]

He activated a skill to degrade the status of the Apostle. The aura surrounding the corroded knight weakened slightly.

Crack!

But it didn’t falter.

The knight, calmly and without a hint of disorder in his stance, pressured Taesan. Even using Apostle Transformation and Apostle Slayer to lower its status, Taesan was being pushed back. He clicked his tongue.

“This is a true apostle.”

[It's quite weakened, though. A proper apostle would have killed you without resistance.]

Fortunately, as the ghost said, Taesan was managing to hold on and even counterattack occasionally.

The Apostle’s power seemed to have greatly weakened over time as its goddess was forgotten.

‘This is manageable.’

Fwip!

Four arrows sprung from Taesan’s body.

They moved in all directions, targeting the knight.

The knight did not respond.

He just lifted his sword and struck down.

Boom!

A massive shockwave swept the room. The flying arrows staggered and were repelled. The corroded knight dealt with the arrows without lifting a hand.

But that was also within Taesan’s expectation.

The arrows held by Taesan would not be effective against the higher-class knight.

He aimed for a very small gap.

Taesan dove under the knight.

[You have activated Leap.]

Clang!

Thanks to learning Ability Sword, the effect of Leap also changed. When activating Leap and jumping above the opponent, it could now cause additional significant shock and damage. The corroded knight’s feet slightly lifted off the ground.

Taesan moved his sword directly. With the sword in his left hand, he aimed to stab the shoulder, and with the right, he aimed to slash the thigh.

The knight, suspended in mid-air, struck down with his sword.

It was an attack with the intent of crushing with sheer weight. Taesan, who was about to ignore it and attack, felt a bad premonition and hastily retreated.

[The Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess has activated the Weight of Will.]

Clang!

The sword struck the labyrinth’s floor, creating a small crack.

Taesan let out a hollow laugh.

“Causing cracks in the labyrinth?”

Boom!

The knight immediately rose and charged at Taesan. Taesan clicked his tongue at the bulldozer-like momentum.

[You have activated Random Blink.]

Taesan’s body moved behind the charging knight.

This was possible because he had implanted a mark during the attack.

He directly thrust his sword into the nape of the knight’s neck. The armor scraped, sending ash-gray dust flying.

[You have activated Random Blink.]

Even though the knight twisted his body at the last moment to reduce the damage, and even with Addition activated, the damage was only this much. It meant the knight’s defense was extremely high.

He was a challenging enemy like Cain but a completely different opponent. Taesan calmly organized his thoughts, knowing that the gap in the same judgment could vary greatly.

The battle was likely to be a long one.

Taesan steadied his breath and activated his skills.

[You have activated Breathless Attack.]
[You have activated The Deer Walking on the Wind Path.]
[You have activated Small Ember.]

He charged at the corroded knight.

First, he focused on attack nullification. Taesan stamped the ground, activating Acceleration to charge at high speed.

[You have activated The Blade of Fighting Spirit.]
[You have activated Addition.]
[You have activated Strong Blow.]

The knight did not avoid the reckless charge. He held his sword with both hands and charged head-on.

Their swords pierced each other’s chests.

[The Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess has taken 4130 damage.]

The Blade of Fighting Spirit tripled the damage. Add Addition’s doubling effect to that. And then the additional attack power of Strong Blow.

All combined, it resulted in a staggering amount of damage.

[Your First Attack Nullification has been activated.]

The knight’s body returned to its pre-attack state. Despite the high damage and sudden change, the knight seemed unfazed and swung his sword again.

Taesan did not dodge but attacked. Although The Blade of Fighting Spirit was unavailable due to cooldown, a considerable amount of damage was dealt before the knight’s counterattack triggered the attack nullification.

After repeating this once more, Taesan created some distance.

The attack nullification was activated thrice, but the knight showed no hesitation in his movements.

It was now clear.

The corroded knight had no emotions.

He would move without being perturbed by any event.

‘Tricky.’

Taesan clicked his tongue and activated a spell.

[You have activated Thunderbolt.]

Lightning pierced the knight’s body, but the damage inflicted was only 10. It was almost a waste of mana.

Boom!

The knight charged. Taesan waved his hand.

A small ember ignited.

The ember, interacting with the wind, grew in size. Soon, a massive storm of flames began to engulf the room.

The knight charged through the storm and struck down with his sword.

Boom!

The storm exploded and disappeared.

Piercing through the swirling flames, the knight attacked Taesan.

Crack!

Blocking the attack, Taesan coolly thought.

‘Spirits, magic. Neither works.’

Powerful skills indeed, but insufficient against the Apostle.

‘How about this, then?’

His mana had slightly recovered while moving.

[You have activated Mephisto's Black Lightning.]

Black lightning pierced the knight.

The knight’s movement momentarily faltered.

It was a very small opening, but Taesan clearly saw it.

The damage was not insignificant at 200.

Black magic was effective against the Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess.

Having confirmed this, Taesan charged.

[You have activated Acceleration.]

The speed of the sword instantly increased. Slicing past the swinging attack, Taesan cut the knight’s arm.

Whirr!

The knight ignored the attack and thrust his sword.

[You have activated Flow.]

The moment Taesan’s and the knight’s swords were about to collide, the knight’s sword missed.

The knight, undeterred, continued to swing his sword. And all those attacks were diverted.

Taesan had timed his own sword movements to match.

And when the knight’s vulnerability was most exposed, Taesan dove into the knight’s chest.

Crunch.

Taesan’s sword pierced the knight once again.

The knight struck Taesan’s chest with his knee.

[You have taken 743 damage.]

Even though Taesan activated Sturdiness to halve the damage, it was still considerable.

However, it wasn’t an unbearable level. He could handle this much damage.

[You have activated Strong Blow.]

Clang!

The swords collided, pushing the knight’s body back slightly. Taesan continued to match his timing and attack. The process of deflecting the opponent’s sword and landing an attack was repeated.

As Taesan dove at the knight, he activated Black Lightning. The knight’s body flinched briefly, and Taesan pierced the knight’s thigh at that moment.

[The Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess has taken 564 damage.]

He then lowered his stance and leaped up.

[You have activated Leap.]

Clang!

The knight’s body was lifted. The knight, as before, raised his sword. But this time, before the knight could activate a skill, Taesan rushed in.

[You have activated Continuous Attack.]

A fierce impact struck the knight’s sword. The hand holding the sword loosened, revealing an opening.

Crunch.

Taesan’s sword pierced the knight again.

He poured everything into the fight.

Taesan allowed a few attacks, but by avoiding direct hits, the damage was bearable.

As the battle progressed, Taesan’s attacks became faster and sharper.

It was thanks to the frenzy of struggle bestowed by Lakiratas.

Crunch.

Taesan forcefully pushed the knight back. The knight staggered and knelt.

“Is this the end?”

[It seems so.]

It hadn’t been too difficult.

The loss of intelligence and the remaining instinct made it easier to predict for Taesan.

Notably, the knight had never managed to grasp Taesan’s swordplay.

If it had been a normal opponent, they might have recognized a specific pattern in Taesan’s actions and exploited it, but lacking intelligence, the knight showed no such signs.

However, the outcome had been perilously close.

Apostle Transformation had ended a while ago. The battle had taken a long time due to the Apostle’s incredibly high health despite Taesan’s relentless attacks.

The battle would have been forfeited for another opportunity if it weren’t for the slight damage inflicted by Apostle Slayer.

It was at that moment that Taesan was assured of his victory.

Clink.

The knight’s armor crumbled.

The sword corroded into dust.

The helmet broke, revealing the knight’s form.

Taesan hesitated.

Inside the armor was only an ashen aura.

The ashen aura burst out from the crumbling armor, gathering and forming a massive shape.

[The Apostle of the Forgotten Goddess has activated Soul Descent.]

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