Chapter 13 - Three Lives Presented by the Earth Demon (3)

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Ack… It hurts! Seol-Hwi staggered, and his expression twisted uncontrollably. Fortunately, it wasn’t fatal, but neither could it be taken lightly. Luckily, it wouldn’t hamper his movements.

Health: 103 (↓102)/205

If the numbers drop again, he’d die…

“Brother, let’s not waste my time.” The man had a huge jaw and thin lips that couldn’t hide his gums. His tone was sarcastic and confident; having inflicted a severe wound, he must have been assured that he could win.

“I was thinking the same.” Seol-Hwi drew his sword and clenched his teeth.

He didn’t know how strong the opponent was, but there was one thing he could check.

Seol-hwi [Leader of the Flying Faction]

Health: 103(↓102)/ 205

Internal Energy: 1,220(↓1,030)/2,250

?? [??]

Health: 685/685

Internal Energy: 470/550

His opponent’s energy was lower than his. That meant he didn’t need to be afraid.

I’ll use the White Light Demonic Arts. Seol-Hwi eyed his opponent and carefully bided his time. He had skills no one knew about; this would be the perfect opportunity to test them.

“Why bother using you head—”

Before the other man could finish speaking, Seol-Hwi lashed out with the White Light Demonic Arts.

“Ugh!” It cut into the man just like he had done to Seol-Hwi.

I can win. Seol-Hwi’s expression brightened.

White Light Demonic Arts—white, like snow. The nature of these arts meant that the more the opponent fought back, the more the cold would affect him. This phenomenon forced Seol-Hwi’s opponent onto the defensive.

“Ugh!” The man took another hit.

“Was that it? Huh?” Seol-Hwi laughed and swung again.

This time his opponent didn’t respond—his body was too stiff, and he dropped like an old tree.

“Phew…”

Health: 101(↓2)/205

Internal Energy: 1,200 (↓20)/2,250

His health had decreased a little. His internal energy had gone down, too, probably because of his technique. It was still an imitation but better than his previous tries.

“Is this a good or a bad thing?” Seol-Hwi pondered the status window. Seeing peoples’ condition at a glance wasn’t bad, but it made him constantly think about death.

“Damn it, I need to find…” Seol-Hwi pawed at the dead man’s body. As expected, he too had a bamboo board with “Body” written on it.

“...Huh?” He also found a fist-sized bottle in his sleeves.

[You have acquired the Golden Spear Potion.]

“Jackpot!”

He found medicine for healing slashes and spear wounds.


It was said that anyone who could graduate from the Military Academy would become a great master. They believed that the Military Academy would make them stronger, but Seol-Hwi thought differently: this place didn’t nurture warriors; it proved them.

“This is a bad start.” Seol-Hwi was hiding out in an obscure room. “If this goes on, I’ll probably die again.”

My health keeps dropping, too.

Health: 96 (↓5)/205

Internal Energy: 1,220/2,250

He’d torn up the dead man’s clothes to staunch the bleeding, but his wounds weren’t going to heal quickly, considering he couldn’t even touch the cut on his back.

Should I use this…? Seol-Hwi fretted over the Golden Spear Potion in his Toolbox. He wanted to use it right away, but he knew this place had danger at every turn. What if he used it and then met someone he couldn’t beat?

He had lives left even if he did die, but dying now wouldn’t yield any information. Seol-Hwi wanted to make his two lives count.

“Oh, it must be so embarrassing. If he’s acting like this now, I don’t know what he’d do in front of the Five Pavilions.”

“Hehehe. Why is the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion at fault? This cheeky bastard is to blame.”

Seol-Hwi wanted to make those two old men bleed.

For now, he took another look at the Toolbox.

[Toolbox]

Medicinal Herb x1

Confectionery Bar x1

Map x1

Sword x1

Golden Spear Potion x1 (New)

“For now, I’ll put in everything that’s important.”

He thought about using the sword but reconsidered. Next time, he wanted to try one of Goeun’s different choices.

“I can use this, right?” Seol-Hwi examined the medicinal herb. It didn’t seem important, so he decided to try it.

[Do you want to use this? Accept/Reject]

Seol-Hwi accepted.

[Applying.]

“Ah…” Seol-Hwi was immediately bewildered by the changes: rather than placing it into his hand, the effect was directly applied to his body.

Health: 98 (↑2)/ 205

[Effect: Prevents bleeding damage.]

Only two points of health, but it seemed like it was enough. The burning pain on his back disappeared.

Just as he was preparing to move, he heard a shout—not from outside but from downstairs.

I need to move.


Clang!

“Ha!”

Crack!

A fierce clash was taking place near the entrance of the yellow building.

“You bastard…” A young man in a green uniform leaned his battered body against his sword. It seemed like he’d taken a serious injury from his opponent’s first move.

“Ah Heol-Dang, you aren’t all that,” his black-clad opponent exclaimed.

“It’s a pity I met the most corrupt man in the Supreme Pavilion.”

“You must be stupid. Sometimes you need to betray your own men to survive.”

“You have no room to talk. You backstabbed your own men.”

“‘My men’? What shit is that?”

The two men had met by chance and agreed to help each other on the first test. However, one of them had decided to try and kill the other.

The young man in green coughed up blood. Clearly, the other man’s attack had caused him internal injuries.

“Don’t enjoy this situation too much. Before I go, I’ll make sure you follow me to the underworld.”

“Bluffer.” The black-clad man grinned and dashed towards him.

The younger man raised his sword, but it was too late. His chest was already pierced by the other man’s sword—or it should have been. The young man’s scaly armor had deflected the blade.

“Now do you understand?” The young man counterattacked, too quick for his opponent to avoid it. His sword lodged in the other man’s chest, but it wasn’t a fatal blow.

“You bastard!” The black-clothed man hammered his fist down.

“Damn it…”

Don’t tell me he’s… Cheok-Ho?

There were seven Groups in the Supreme Pavilion: Black Earth, Black Sun, Black Moon, Black Fire, Black Water, Black Wood, and Black Metal, from strongest to weakest. Cheok-Ho was the leader of the Black Fire Group. Like Jeok Myung of the Black Moon, he was no ordinary person—in fact, he was stronger.

This is a chance! I can kill him! Seol-Hwi had been watching them from the hallway and spotted an opportunity.

Their skills are superior to mine. I have to finish it as quickly as possible.

Can I use the status window? The problem was, Seol-Hwi didn’t know how to manage it. It always appeared at the right time, but he never knew when that would be; if only he could make it pop up, he could learn the enemy’s skills and deal with them.

Will it open now? Maybe I can try looking at everyone as an enemy… Hadn’t the status window only come up when the enemy was discovered, or he was exposed, like when he’d killed Jeok Myung? So why isn’t it coming up now?

Ah! He’s putting on the armor.

Cheok-Ho was fumbling around with the dead man’s gear.

“Is this why my sword was deflected?” He seemed surprised by the thin scales.

Seol-Hwi was getting increasingly anxious. He knew he would never get this kind of chance again.

I can’t wait any longer. If he puts that on, I won’t be able to hurt him anymore…

[A great opportunity! Discovered the Black Fire Captain, Cheok-Ho. How will you respond?]

▶ Attack

▷ Use Martial Arts

▷ Use tools.

9… 8…

The window appeared just in time, but… “Use Martial Arts”? “Attack”? What was the difference?

▶ Attack

▷ Use Martial Arts

▷ Use tools.

Seol-Hwi decided “Attack” would be the safest option. He could think about the other options later.

<You have selected “Attack”. Rewinding time by 3 seconds. Move immediately.>

Three seconds back?

“Is this why my sword was deflected?”

Seol-Hwi took off without a second thought. He immediately figured out what “Three seconds back” meant.

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