Chapter 39 - Last Combat Type (2)

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Tsk tsk. A disciple of Cheon Mi-Ryeo… The Earth Demon was a bit disappointed with Seol-Hwi. His attacks weren’t as strong as the Earth Demon thought it would be. The execution wasn’t efficient—it had power, but it just couldn’t meet his expectations.

At least he knew something.

The cold air spread a thin rime across the ground, and he was momentarily blinded by a flurry of ice blades. However, everything was washed away by a quick stomp from Heukgu.

“Fourth disciple,” Heukgu said, “I don’t understand why you’d want to take this weak basta—”

The Earth Demon was troubled by Heukgu’s words. He knew Seol-Hwi’s skills weren’t bad—that’s why he brought the squad leader to perform the test instead of the usual normal squad member.

How skilled is he, really? The Earth Demon waited patiently, but he didn’t expect much. Heukgu is the best, after all; pushing him back a step or two would be a feat in itself.

Seol-Hwi is moving. The Earth Demon watched carefully, but Seol-Hwi seemed to be repeating his actions. His ordinary attack got blocked the same way.

Wait! His eyes widened. Seol-Hwi wasn’t repeating—this time, he was using demonic energy. A bright flame bloomed on the tip of his sword, tracing a bright arc towards Heukgu. The Earth Demon realized that the flame had been created by Seol-Hwi’s Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Martial Arts.


Just as Heukgu was about to move, Seol-Hwi gave the Earth Demon an even bigger surprise. His footsteps changed.

Ghost Walking. One of the four techniques of the Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts; it allowed you to close in on your opponent further and faster. Even while he was under attack, Seol-Hwi acted skillfully.

And the Destroying Air Ring! Wind curled around Seol-Hwi’s sword in several tiers of rings. A groan slipped out of the Earth Demon’s lips. Seol-Hwi’s attack was a secret he could only learn by epiphany—something which could never be imitated.

The Wind God Sword.

All eyes were on the tip of Seol-Hwi’s sword. A sword wind formed as he raised his sword, but it began to oscillate and rapidly swelled to enormous size. It even flickered with lightning—the Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts (Wind Sword) embraced the power of lightning, creating a massive storm that swept over Heukgu.

The squad leader was caught in the thunderstorm and pushed back into the Earth Demon’s home. The storm didn’t stop until it had smashed the columns. Heukgu was left with his hair in shambles and his clothes in tatters. The shocked expression in his eyes made it obvious that he couldn’t understand how he’d taken so much damage.

The AI, however, thought differently.

- As expected, I can’t beat that jerk with this body.

He should’ve been happy just to push Heukgu back, but this guy was complaining!

Then Seol-Hwi realized how much pain he was in.

Y-You crazy bastard! Heavenly Blood point, lower-body blood points, abdomen blood points, everything. To fight at this level, the AI must’ve unlocked his body’s latent points.

<Are you sure you want to intervene in the fight? Yes/No>

“Ah, you fucking bastard. I almost got killed…” Seol-Hwi finally regained control of his body after releasing seven blood points.

“That was pretty good.” Heukgu’s expression had brightened. It wasn’t a real fight in the first place, so there was no problem with being cheerful.

“I apologize… Can we do this again?”

Heukgu shook his head.

“There’s no need for that. I figured out your skills…”


“Huh.” Heukgu’s expression darkened. It seemed like Seol-Hwi still had some tricks up his sleeves. “Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

“Continue.” The Earth Demon gave Seol-Hwi a curious look. “Show me everything. Use every martial art you know.”

“Thank you.” Seol-Hwi raised his sword again, to Heukgu’s obvious dissatisfaction.

“Hngh.” Heukgu’s expression hardened. Seol-Hwi certainly had excellent martial arts and refined technique, and just using the Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts was commendable in its own right—but that was it. Heukgu doubted Seol-Hwi’s next attempt would end any differently. However, he couldn’t disobey the fourth disciple so he just nodded. “Come. This is the last time.”

Let’s do a simulation this time.

Seol-Hwi knew that he, like the AI, wouldn’t be able to hurt Heukgu no matter how hard he tried. This was a great chance to test his new combat styles, though. After all, he didn’t get many chances to fight where his life was not on the line.

Combat Type: <Simulation>
<“Third-class Sword Technique” is added as default.>
<Optimal martial arts are analyzed and presented as video.>
<Analyzing Seol-Hwi’s martial arts.>
→ White Light Demonic Martial Arts
→ White Palm Demonic Martial Arts
→ Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Martial Arts
→ Peak Flourishing Demonic Martial Arts
→ Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts
→ Demonic Heavenly Sword
→ Black Demon Seven Sword
… 7 Total.
<Analyzing Seol-Hwi’s techniques.>
…32 Total.
<Analyzing Seol-Hwi’s footwork.>
…14 Total.
<Analyzing Seol-Hwi’s close-combat attacks.>
…5 Total.
<Analysis complete.>

Is it done? When the notifications stopped, Seol-Hwi stayed still. If he attacked before it was done, the attempt would end the same way his first had.

“Are you going to attack?” Heukgu looked irritated.

<Displaying video.>

Illusionary human figures appeared before his eyes. They were darker than the shadows that taught him martial arts.

A shadow came out of his body and sprinted towards Heukgu. Another shadow came from Heukgu’s body and immediately disappeared. After that, dozens of shadows came out of Seol-Hwi, each rushing in different directions.

However, there was only one shadow for Heukgu. With a simple motion, every Seol-Hwi shadow was eliminated at once.

Hundreds—countless—shadows were generated to attack Heukgu. One shadow swung recklessly; one shadow threw up sand from the floor; one shadow threw his sword. They seemed to be trying everything Seol-Hwi could do.

Not one of them touched Heukgu. Every single one was destroyed, stomped, or thrown away.

But just when he thought it was over, one shadow sliced Heukgu’s waist. Every other shadow disappeared, leaving this one shadow—this one successful attack.

Each movement was explained in detail.

<Upper stab, middle stab.>
<Move to the right and slash down.>
<Slice diagonally after moving horizontally.>
<After two consecutive up and down movements, move to Heukgu’s back.>
<Small changes.>

In Simulation, time didn’t stop like it did in turn-based.

Seol-Hwi made the first move, running in and stabbing at Heukgu’s upper body and center. Naturally, he was blocked.

Next, he danced to the right and swung at Heukgu’s lower body. Again, it was blocked.

Then he tried the diagonal attack.

As Seol-Hwi went through the five motions, Heukgu blocked each attack but his expression began to twist. It felt like he was being played, somehow.

After blocking the last attack, Heukgu struck at Seol-Hwi’s thighs. Seol-Hwi managed to avoid the attack, surprising himself. After a closer look, Seol-Hwi realized that he hadn’t dodged it—Heukgu had counterattacked five times and then simply retreated.

…Small changes! Seol-Hwi used the White Light Demonic Martial Arts, sixth form. He came in, swinging at Heukgu’s waist and came to a stop three steps behind the squad leader.

There was a long moment of silence.

Seol-Hwi looked at his sword and realized there was blood on it.

The simulation… It was almost effortless, where even the AI had failed.

Heukgu stared at his waist blankly. He reached down to his waist and then brought his hand back up to his eyes.

He stared at it, shocked. Seol-Hwi had cut him.

“You brat…” It wasn’t even some fast-moving attack. Seol-Hwi used boring, ordinary stabs and slashes. What had done Heukgu in was… carelessness.

Heukgu’s eyes grew bloodshot, and his sword raged with destructive energy.

“Ah, wait—!” Seol-Hwi waved his hands, but Heukgu had no intention of stopping.

A simulation shadow arose, but—

<...Impossible! Already used.>

The simulation seemed to give up. Seol-Hwi was out of options.

It took him a moment to realize that Heukgu hadn’t killed him. The fourth disciple had blocked his strike, an effort that caved in the ground around them and sent Seol-Hwi trembling like a reed in the wind.


Heukgu came to his senses and hastily backed away, bowing.

“Forgive me.”

“No. Even I could see that Seol-Hwi was provoking you.”

Seol-Hwi stared at the Earth Demon, shocked. Heukgu was intimidating, but the Earth Demon stopping him was even more startling.

What kind of combat power does he have…? His skills weren’t really that high—not much higher than Heukgu, but he stopped the squad leader’s strike easily.

Either one was unimaginably strong. Seol-Hwi was beginning to understand what ∞ meant.

Is this what it means to be strong…?

“Based on his skills, Seol-Hwi can be a vice-leader, but he will need time to adapt to the squad.” The Earth Demon closed his eyes. “Why not assign him a trainer and then appoint him to vice-leader?”

The squad leader softened.

“I agree.”

“Wait.” The Earth Demon looked at Seol-Hwi. “You will be appointed as vice-leader.”

“Thank you.”

<Seol-hwi has been selected as the vice-leader of the Hidden Truth Squad.>

And then he passed out.

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