This time he didn’t hesitate. He didn’t even stop to think and went straight for the strongest opponent.
He immediately chose martial arts—not the White Light Demonic Arts or the Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Arts, but the strongest he could think of.
He used the Peak Flourishing Martial Arts.
The movements came naturally; his body smoothly followed his thoughts.
He didn’t get closer to the opponent. He reached for the sword stuck in Gam Ja’s chest, pulled it out, and swung it at Sal Yu. A flame rose from the tip of the short sword, reaching towards the opponent. It was only the size of a fist, but it stretched out like the blade of a swordmaster.
Sal Yu died on the spot. The fireball had punched a neat hole straight through his chest.
Seol-Hwi’s jaw dropped. What amazing power…
However, there was a cost to pay.
It had consumed almost half of his internal energy. Unfortunate, but understandable considering the effect.
Ah! Seol-Hwi jerked. While he was busy being shocked by his own sword skills, the enemy was getting closer.
His opponent’s sword stabbed towards his chest, and it was too late for him to avoid it. Suddenly, the Demonic Arm Guard on his right hand appeared to block it. With a loud crash, Sal Yu’s colleague, Seo Tae, was forced to retreat.
It stopped it! Seo Tae was shocked. That arm should have been cut off!
But that wasn’t the end. It was Seol-Hwi’s turn to attack.
“Hah!” He put his strength into the arm guard, generating a gust of wind. Seol-Hwi reached out his hand, pushing out the wind at astonishing speed.
Seo Tae screamed as his body was thrown into the air by the point-blank attack and launched out the window.
And then he slammed into the ground.
The room was blanketed in a tense silence. The way Seol-Hwi had instantly taken out the Red Demon members had the last man cowering.
“The bamboo plaques are…” Seol-Hwi turned to look at the last man. “Looks like I need to get all of you.”
“Eik!” The enemy hastily attacked, but Seol-Hwi didn’t flinch.
There was no need. He already knew how this ended.
Mu Kyung couldn’t even follow Seol-Hwi’s movements. It took a few tries, but Seol-Hwi’s sword was lodged into Mu Kyung’s chest.
“There’s so much!” Seol-Hwi looted two pills, four pieces of equipment, and the six bamboo sheets he needed to pass the test.
“I don’t need spears or blades.” He had never used them, nor did he have the intention of using them.
“Let’s see the pills.” Seol-Hwi eagerly prodded at the Toolbox to bring up the detailed view. However, what he saw made him frown.
“...Is that it?” Seol-Hwi had been looking forward to something great. “Just eat it. Now, to throw away or not…”
“Haha…!” Seol-Hwi was presently surprised. The armor had wrapped itself around him the moment he indicated he wanted to wear it.
“By the way, is this better than what I had?”
It was definitely a treasure—it had gotten bigger when he put it on. Unlike his old armor, which only protected his chest, this one covered his thighs and shoulders. Seol-Hwi didn’t know how well it would protect him, but it definitely covered his full body. There was no detailed view of it, however.
“Now for the treasure chest.” It was the reason he fought, after all. Surely its contents were as impressive as its gilded exterior. Seol-Hwi warily looked around and then carefully reached out.
“What? This one again?” Seol-Hwi doubted his eyes. It was empty—or rather, there was nothing but a confectionery bar inside.
What the hell was it doing in this flashy chest?
“I wonder if it’s the same as what I got in the pa—”
Seol-Hwi instinctively moved. He stepped back, parrying the incoming blade.
An unfamiliar man warily backed off after his attack.
“Damn it. Seems like I ran into a strong one,” the man with the black-marked face said.
“You?” Seol-Hwi’s eyes widened.
“What? Do you know me?”
Seol-Hwi was confused, but now he understood why the treasure chest had nothing but a bar in it.
To Seol-Hwi’s surprise, he’d run into a man he’d killed in the past.
So, what was in the chest was… No doubt Oh Ma had taken care of the four men who got here first and then grabbed the loot. Tellingly, his health was only 4,350; last time Seol-Hwi had seen him, Oh Ma’s maximum health was 4,650.
“Look here. How about we just do this next time?” Oh Ma seemed to have second thoughts because Seol-Hwi blocked his attack. “Anyway, I just came in, and it looks like there’s nothing left. No one to kill, either.”
I guessed correctly. Many hours had passed when Seol-Hwi was roaming around the red building in his past life. Considering his abilities, Oh Ma couldn’t have killed all four men alone. He must have bided his time and ambushed them.
“I’ll ask you one thing.” Seol-Hwi had to check something. If it turned out as he guessed, nothing would change.
“...Say it.” Oh Ma’s expression brightened when Seol-Hwi didn’t attack.
“Where will you go after you leave? Wouldn’t it be best if we don’t run into each other again?”
Oh Ma nodded obligingly. “I’ll go to the yellow building. I think it’ll be a little easier there.”
Exactly! That was where he’d met Oh Ma. Everything seemed right.
“Great. No need to rush. Instead,” Seol-Hwi shook his head, “I will go to the yellow building. You go somewhere else.”
“... That’s no problem.” Oh Ma turned away, satisfied. He spared a glance at the treasure chest, but he didn’t seem regretful.
“I have another question.”
Oh Ma paused as he was about to leave. “What now?”
“When do you think the stronger men will come? I’m asking because it doesn’t seem like there are any strong people here.”
“... You’re joking, right? I guess you came here without knowing anything.” Oh Ma shook his head. “I’ll admit that you’re unusual, but only for tonight. Around dawn, tomorrow, completely different people will come. If you don’t have the most treasures by then… life won’t be easy.”
“What’s their level?”
“Uh…” Oh Ma blinked. “Captain level. A general representative of a squad or team.”
Seol-Hwi’s eyes widened. The captains he referred to would come from the five Pavilions and nine Halls. Not just one, many people would come—too many.
“Well then.” Oh Ma leaped away without another word. He was probably in a hurry to find the other treasures.
“I should get going, too.” Seol-Hwi shrugged and walked over to the window.
The previous armor was gone. It had disappeared when he died—no doubt those two men would be in the midst of their betrayal right now.
“Ah, of course.”
He topped off with whatever he could.
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