Episode 221

The World Of Spirits And Humans: Arulia (4)
1 week ago
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[You are a killer of our kin!]

Barkaza raised his voice and kept his distance. Taesan tilted his head, puzzled.

“How does news spread so that the spirits know everything about the labyrinth?”

The labyrinth and the outside world were separate entities. Considering the title’s implication to be hostile, Barkaza was accurately accusing him of killing the spirits’ kin.

[Why are you here?]

Barkaza looked at Taesan from afar.

[What do you seek here, human?]

“Nothing much.”

Taesan pointed his sword at Barkaza.

“I wish to form a contract with you.”

[A being that has slain us desires to form a contract with spirits?]

“I hope you can view it as self-defense. Anyway, if you want to make a contract, it’s simple: if you defeat me, do as you please, and if I win, you enter into a contract with me. How about it?”


Interest tinged Barkaza’s voice.

[That sounds entertaining. Very well. Let's fight. If I win, you become my slave!]

Barkaza clapped his hands, and light spread in all directions like the sun.

Taesan closed his eyes, but it wasn’t just light that obstructed his vision. It was light that engulfed the mind itself, preventing normal thought.

[Behold the power of a great spirit!]


A rainbow-colored beam descended upon Taesan.

Taesan stomped his feet. The light shattered the ground and trees, attempting to pierce him.


“What, what’s happening!”

Akien and her companions, who were sleeping in a nearby carriage, woke up in shock.

“What’s going on!”

They had been sleeping peacefully when suddenly a tremendously strong force collided right beside them.

Hearing the screams, Taesan stomped his feet.

“Let’s keep some distance.”

[Are you concerned that the lives here will be caught in the crossfire? Unexpectedly considerate.]

Barkaza clapped his hands. Then, floating, he followed Taesan.

Taesan landed on a suitable cliff. Barkaza, following, clapped his hands vigorously.


Nature empathized. All the power in the surroundings infused into Barkaza, becoming his strength.

And it transformed into a rainbow-colored light that cascaded down upon Taesan in streams.

Taesan attempted to dodge. The light descended like a tempest. Taesan continued to evade, yet the onslaught persisted.

The quality and quantity of this power surpassed any spirit Taesan had encountered before.

However, Taesan was perplexed.

‘It’s not as intense as I anticipated.’

Taesan channeled strength into his legs and directed his sword towards the descending light.

[You have activated Flow.]

The trembling sword made contact with the light. The path of the light bended. Consequently, the altered trajectory of the light intersected with the descending beams, causing them to fluctuate.


[Uh, uhm?]

The rainbow-colored beam misses its target entirely.

Seizing the opportunity, Taesan charged at Barkaza through the gap that had formed.

Barkaza quickly clapped his hands together. Light radiated, vividly illuminating everything around Taesan.

[You have activated the Adventurer's Will.]

The light, which had even engulfed the spirit, vanished.

Dodging the cascading rainbow-colored light, Barkaza appeared directly in front.

[Take this!]

Barkaza hastily mustered his strength. The forces of nature began to gather around him.


A formidable defense encased Barkaza.

Taesan lunged with his sword.


The sword rebounded. Taesan’s eyes widened from the recoil felt in his wrist.

‘It’s solid.’

The spirit’s defense proved to be far superior to the attack.


Rainbow-colored light descended once more.

Taesan moved.

He dodged the descending beams of light and thrust his sword at Barkaza’s defense again, but the sword rebounded.

[It can't be penetrated!]

Barkaza proclaimed confidently.

[Even the King's sword technique cannot easily breach my shield! Your power won't be able to penetrate it!]

“Let’s see about that.”

Taesan observed the descending light and shifted his stance.

[You have activated Random Blink.]

Taesan reappeared in front of Barkaza. Barkaza, taken aback by Taesan’s sudden appearance, laughs, trusting in his defense.

[Try it! Once!]

“That’s the plan.”

[You have activated Vital Point Designation.]
[You have activated Addition.]
[You have activated Strong Blow.]
[You have activated Continuous Attack.]


With a fierce sound, the defense shook.

Cracks started to form at the spot where the sword hit.


Barkaza was flustered. Taesan wedged into the newly formed gap.

And then he thrust his sword in again.



The crack grew even bigger.

Barkaza, in shock, quickly tried to shoot light at the moment Taesan moved his hand.

[You have activated Mephisto's Black Lightning.]


The light penetrated Barkaza’s defense, ignoring it. The uncontrollable rainbow-colored light scatters in all directions, destroying the cliff. In that gap, Taesan swung his sword even more powerfully.

[You have activated Blade of Fighting Spirit.]


The crack spread, creating a small gap.

Taesan inserted his arm into the gap and swung it harshly, breaking the defense.

At the moment Barkaza hurriedly tried to clap, Taesan grabbed his neck.


He slammed him into the ground, creating a crater and completely collapsing the cliff. A sudden wind spread throughout the forest.

[Not yet!]

“Then, let’s continue.”

Taesan subdued Barkaza.

What followed was a one-sided fight. Taesan, reading Barkaza’s will, suppressed and defeated everything he attempted before he could do it. Barkaza could do nothing but be beaten without a decent resistance.

[I have lost!]

Eventually, Barkaza conceded defeat in a nearly shattered state.

Taesan sheathed his sword.

“It was still decent.”

He had known from the start that the opponent would not stand a chance.

Taesan had defeated a high-level spirit on the 23rd floor. He had become incomparably stronger since then; it was impossible for a supreme spirit to stand against him.

It was rather surprising that Barkaza could create a defense that blocked Taesan’s attacks several times.

Barkaza grumbled.

[Damn strong. Except for the King's shield and sword, there seems to be no entity that can fight you. Are you truly a being capable of killing our kin?]

“How do you know about what happened in the labyrinth?”

[We are beings of the spirit world. Wherever there is a spirit, that news reaches us, even if it is a labyrinth created by a spellcaster.]

“Then I’m curious, aren’t the spirits of the labyrinth your enemies?”

[Why would you think that?]

“Because they have escaped their lifespan and duties, running away to the labyrinth.”

The Spirit God, Beatrice said that the Spirit King was a being that protected the world.

If that’s true, then the Fire Spirit King had abandoned the world he should protect and entered the labyrinth.

Barkaza fell silent at Taesan’s words.

[Who told you that?]

“Someone you also know.”

[Did a spirit of the labyrinth tell you? It's not wrong. They are beings who abandoned their duties. But they are still our kin. It would be good to see them as objects of love and hate.]

Barkaza snorted.

[Anyway... I have been defeated by you. If you wish, we shall make a contract. Do you want it?]



The power of nature converged to form a shape. It appeared in front of Taesan and Barkaza like a key.

[I am Barkaza, a supreme spirit of various colors. I stake my birth and extinction as a spirit to contract with you, becoming your servant. Do you accept?]

Taesan nodded and grabbed the key.

Power stretched out to both Taesan and Barkaza at the same time.

It was a contract and a binding of rules.

[You have learned spirit magic.]
[You have acquired the Spirit Skill: Spirit Contract.]
[You have made a contract with Barkaza, a supreme spirit of various colors.]

A new power that Taesan never felt before filled him. Barkaza calmly spoke.

[From now on, I am your shield and your sword. I will protect you and trample your enemies; you are my master.]

A small symbol of the contract appeared on the back of Taesan’s hand.

The contract was complete. Barkaza grumbled.

[A contract after hundreds of years with our enemy. It's both pleasing and strangely odd.]

The ghost waved its hand. Barkaza shut his mouth.

[...Who are you?]
[So, you can see me too. Is it because of some kind of subjugation state? Interesting.]
[Ho. Are you a being from the labyrinth?]

While the two exchanged various stories, Taesan was checking his skills.

[Spirit Magic]
[Proficiency: 1%]
[A skill to command spirits and harness their power. It's still very clumsy, unlikely to draw even half of their potential.]
[Spirit Skill: Spirit Contract]
[Proficiency: 1%]
[Contract with a spirit to summon them and harness their power. Yet unable to fully draw out the spirit's power.]
[Spirit Contract: Barkaza, a supreme spirit of various colors]
[Proficiency: 1%]
[Mana Consumption for Summoning: 30]
[You've contracted with Barkaza. You can summon Barkaza and give commands. You can also use part of Barkaza's power.]

What Barkaza could do was crucial because it meant using his power.

“What can you do?”

[As the master has seen, my role is protection. My attack itself is not particularly impressive. If you consider sheer power, other supreme spirits are much stronger than me. However, it's different when it comes to defense.]

Barkaza clapped his hands. The energy of nature started to gather around them.

[My defense is something that even other supreme spirits couldn't properly destroy. The master easily broke through, though.]

“Do I need to manage that power?”

[What do you mean?]

“Do I have to be nearby to use that power?”

[No. Once you summon me, you don't need to worry much about where you are. As long as I'm not forcibly desummoned, I can mostly do as I please.]

“That’s good.”

There were quite a few instances where Taesan had to be far from others on Earth. It meant Barkaza could protect them when Taesan wasn’t there.

[Additionally, I possess the ability to enhance the powers of other spirits, though this may seem inconsequential to the master.]


[I am a spirit of nature itself. Unlike other spirits, I lack a specific attribute.]

Reflecting on it, when Taesan summoned spirits, he would gather all the surrounding powers, unlike Akien who summoned with a specific attribute.

[Should the master form contracts with other spirits, I can amplify the power of that attribute. However, for the master, this might be impossible. I wonder if there will be any other spirits the master will contract with besides me.]
[You have activated a Small Flame.]


A flame arose. The power imbued with the king’s strength swirls around Taesan.

“It’s definitely stronger.”

The color of the flickering flames was deeper than before, indicating a significant increase in power.

Taesan extinguished the flame.

Barkaza fumbled.

[That power...]

“Because there was an opportunity.”

[You obtained the king's power simply because there was an opportunity?]

Barkaza let out a bitter laugh.

[Is that even possible in the labyrinth? Fascinating.]

Interest was clear in Barkaza’s voice.

[So, by contracting with you, do I also enter the labyrinth?]

“Probably, that’s what will happen.”


Barkaza’s eyes sparkled. Taesan was puzzled by his visibly joyful reaction.

“I thought you despised me? For killing your kin.”

[As a spirit, I should seek revenge against one who has killed our kin, but I have already been defeated. To cry out for revenge now would merely be the lament of a loser. Besides, there's something more important to me than that.]

Barkaza said, laughing.

[How do you view this world, Master?]

“Quite peaceful.”

[Yes. Our god permitted the contracting of spirits in this world, and our king, now deceased, generously facilitated these contracts. Thanks to that, everyone can form contracts with spirits and live without difficulty. I find that displeasing.]

Disgust was evident in Barkaza’s voice.

In a world where nothing special happened it was always serene. There’s no inconvenience, no disputes among people, just living. That’s boring. Living like this for hundreds of years, even a spirit got mentally drained.

He clapped his hands together.

[I desire a life of intensity. A blood-splattered struggle, a fight wagering extinction. If I could make such with a human like the master, it would be enjoyable.]
[A spirit desiring battle. That's unusual.]

The ghost was intrigued by Barkaza’s combative spirit. Spirits were known to love peace and not enjoy disputes with others. That had been the ghost’s observation of spirits so far.

Taesan responded.

“Then you don’t have to worry. I plan to fight till I’m weary.”

[That's good to hear.]

Barkaza was pleased.

[Then let me ask again. Why did you visit this world? Everyone will reject you.]

“Your god gave me a task.”


Barkaza paused.

[Could it be Beatrice?]

“Let’s talk about the details later and head back for now.”

Taesan moved. Barkaza, confused, followed him.

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