Chapter 41 - Infinite Growth (3)

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“Kiiik!”

A sharp scream.

The body of the Giant Mantis collapsed with a large hole through it. No matter how powerful its regeneration, it would no longer be effective now.

No matter how tough it was, a missing heart could not be regenerated.

[The Great Warrior of Anubis has fallen.]
[Level has risen.]
[You have acquired the 'Magic Book of the Peltaros Principality.']
[Acquired a mid-grade magic stone.]

And with this, he had gained another level.

In addition, a magic book that only appeared on the middle floors of the tower appeared here.

‘Oh, look at this?’

Jin-hyuk was slightly surprised. He had defeated dozens of opponents but had never been given such a good reward.

Usually, the normal drops would be weapons or an item with some kind of effect.

Why did the gap between the reward quality widen so suddenly?

Jin-hyuk immediately realized the reason.

‘It’s probably thanks to the Luck stat and everything else I’ve gathered.’

This wasn’t a coincidence.

The small skills he had continuously gathered helped him achieve the present results.

Exhilarating.

‘Because it means my efforts weren’t in vain.’

Jin-hyuk picked up the old book lying next to the body.

“…!”

A chill spread into his fingertips.

… it was cold.

[The pure cold qi will paralyze some of your fingertips.]

The Magic Book of the Peltaros Principality was something that contained ice magic, so it was traded at a high price by almost all players.

Although over 90% of players wouldn’t succeed in making a single snowflake, much less successfully use ice magic.

The opportunity to acquire the other skills in the series was sufficient.

‘The Peltaros Principality is a place that’s a concentration of mages.’

Jin-hyuk smiled.

He knew about its existence on the 13th floor, so he had planned to try learning it slowly. Being able to use new magic like this was something he didn’t expect to happen so soon.

Swish.

He opened the first chapter of the book.

Complex characters caught his eye.


Anubis, who watched this happen, smiled.

That’s right.

Since all magic books were written using runes, ordinary people would be unable to read them.

Moreover, even if they could learn the runes, it would take a significant amount of time to understand the contents written in the book to even use the most basic spell.

Effort and talent.

Magic could only be used when both these factors supported the human studying and learning to use it.

“Foolish human. Don’t you know that it will take you over 3 years to just learn to read the magic… huh!”?

Anubis took a deep breath.

Shhh!

The moisture in the air froze, and powder-like ice fragments began to form in the air.

[Unique abilities and skills can be used again.]
[Lv1 'Ice Formation' is activated!]

Huh?

Why did it feel like a dog was barking?

“What did you just say?”

“H-How…”

How?

“I studied a lot of textbooks in the past.”

Of course, learning a new language was never easy. Many people couldn’t even use English properly after 12 years of studying.

But that was the story of a passionless education.

‘This… is a study I really wanted to do.’

Because it was fun.

It was only through learning this that he could become strong.

So he…

… practiced it to death.

Over and over until he became stronger than even mages.

Shh!

The scattered fragments of ice magic began to take a single shape.

Five ice arrows, each one 2 meters in length.

All beautifully crafted, awaiting the command of their creator.

“I must admit that you are no ordinary human being. But you don’t believe that those ice toys can be used to fight me, right?”

“I know.”

“What?”

“I know it is useless.”

He could not kill Anubis with what he had. No, it wouldn’t even cause a wound on the divinity’s skin.

Like Elise, he was a top-tier existence in the tower.

But…

“But aren’t you also nervous right now? Above all, you are not able to attack other living beings without using the insects. You must be annoyed right now.”

“…”

Anubis kept his silence.

He had meant to intimidate his opponent, but somehow the human knew everything. He was currently in a state with many restrictions.

‘The more I look at him, the more amazing he is.’

What was more interesting was that, even though the human realized his attacks wouldn’t work, he wasn’t backing down at all.

“Why?’

He was curious. What were the human’s thoughts? What was the secret behind it?

However, contrary to the expectation of Anubis, Jin-hyuk’s words were…

“For… fun?”

“F-fun?”

“A sandbag that wouldn’t die no matter how hard I hit it. How could I give it up?”

“Your arrogance reaches the sky, human.”

Anubis said as his expression changed slightly. That was something Jin-hyuk did not miss.

Fine.

‘Like a human with high self-esteem, he’s weak against provocations.’

If he continued to just do this, he would successfully finish the copy conditions.

And the proof of that was…

Kukukuku!

Anubis pulled out the Hive relic, which was the size of a basketball.

It was a special item with the power of multiplying insects. Was he going to use it?

Since Jin-hyuk had eliminated his chosen warrior, this was his only option.

“Tear that damned mortal to pieces and swallow him!”

Anubis infused magic into the Hive.

And…

Boong!

Woong!

Flying insects began to pour out of the Hive with disturbing sounds. At the same time, the ice arrows above Jin-hyuk’s head vanished.

Kwakwang!

The air was filled with a loud roar. Dozens of insects were skewered by the ice arrows and lodged into the ground.

All of them were hit.

‘As expected, it isn’t too late to try this.’

The ice arrow was able to pierce the insects but failed to take down the Hive.

But that didn’t matter. Victory and defeat in battle depended on who could endure the longest.

Wheik!

Sparks of flame appeared in Jin-hyuk’s left hand.

Tsss!

In his right hand, thin stalks of ice began to rise.

And right then…

['Element of Fire (B)' and 'Ice Formation (A)' are fused!]

Jin-hyuk placed his hands together as the two polar opposite elemental energies ran rampant.

Kukuku!

The air began to change rapidly.

“Kuuu….”

“Kiiii…”

Even the insects were forced to move back at this unknown magic.

Anubis frowned.

[Fusion successful!]
[You have acquired the skill 'Daylight (AA)'!]
[Daylight
Acquisition Difficulty: AA
Description: This is a skill that compresses and releases magic. This white-type magic is known to be very powerful in itself and useful in battle because it affects the field of vision.]
[The fused skill is stored as 'Memory of the World'.]

After the ice magic, another skill appeared through fusion.

It was also a skill that was specialized in dealing with a large number of enemies.

‘And the power?’

He had acquired the skill in the past, but he wasn’t in the same state of perfect growth as he was now. He would admit that he had made mistakes and failed. Did the wasted time and futile effort combine for this moment now?

It was expected to an extent.

Now, where will this road take him?

Jin-hyuk extended his dagger forward.

Woong!

[Lv1 'Daylight' has been activated]

An intense light shone on the underground level. All of them felt like they were standing under the hot sun, with the sand worms living there feeling the brunt of its heat and light.

“Kiiik!”

“Kuaaak!”

The worms screamed in pain. Well, this was expected to happen as they had never seen light.

“I know it is painful, but how will you get this done if you keep your head down like this?”

Daylight’s primary effect was light attribute damage.

The skill caused damage and blinded creatures with dark attributes. However, the real effect of the skill was something else.

Jin-hyuk looked at the light glowing from his dagger. His arms trembled as he tried to hold onto the powerful magic in his hand.

A little bit… a little bit more…!

And at that moment.

A single point of light shone out in a straight line. It was silent, unaccompanied by roars or explosions.

Neither was the ground below it destroyed nor a hole put through a wall.

It was faithful to its sole role: Lethality.

Chik!

White Phosphorus.

The demon’s flame that would continue to burn everything even when underwater. The skill didn’t stop as it burned all the insects in sight.

Of course, the Hive still continued to create insects.

But Jin-hyuk broke through the deadlock of their numbers by using his magic.

‘The only advantage that swarm insects have are their numbers.’

They had excellent cooperation to move and hunt in groups. In large numbers, they were challenging to deal with.

It meant that it would be able to exert power that was more than the sum of its parts.

In other words, defeating just one insect would have a negligible effect.

Pung!

Pung!

As the flames rose up, they became a trigger that generated continuous explosions. His Ice Arrow attacks also pierced the outer skins of the attacking insects.

The rate at which the insects were being destroyed was faster than their production speed.

“Kuak…!”

In the end, Anubis, who couldn’t stand seeing this, activated the Hive’s second ability.

['Hive' selects a target]

Moments later, a wasp nearly a meter tall came out of the hive. The sting looked pretty dangerous, but that was it.

Not only did it have low magic, but it would also have no impact on the battle alone.

“Kuak!”

The wasp’s long roar filled the air as it began to descend from the heights above.

Woong!

It was fast, and Jin-hyuk took out his dagger.

And the stinger crossed with the dagger.

Thick fluid dripped from the tip of the dagger, drop by drop.

The wasp, which had lost its head, was thrown to the ground.

Kwang!

Such a futile ending for the last chosen from the Hive.

That was what Jin-hyuk thought.

The wasp didn’t die.

It was wriggling as if it was growing up instead.

“Being reborn?”

“Huhu. Does it look that way?”

Anubis laughed in a low voice.

“Kiiik!”

“Kuaak!”

Now a second voice could be heard.

A new body had grown from not just the head but the body as well.

This was fragmentation and not regeneration.

Totally like a live-action horror movie.

“Cutting it is useless?”

“Correct. Now, no matter how much you run, the bugs will come for you,”

That was the second ability of the Hive. It forced the enemy to deal with insects that would divide themselves until the enemy’s stamina and magic ran out.

This was because there was a limit to how strong a player could be.

In the end, it would fall down to how much time he had to wait.

But,

‘… finally, it came out.’

Jin-hyuk smiled.

He smiled because this whole desperate situation had been his plan all along. He knew that all of this would simply become a paving stone that would lead to the desired results.

He couldn’t help but laugh.

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