Chapter 467 - Central Bureau (9)

Second Life Ranker

‘No. It’s similar but different.’ For a brief moment, Yeon-woo thought that Mary was the Vampiric Lord, but he quickly shook his head. It was obvious that she was using a skill with Effects and characteristics similar to that of Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, but the power difference was too great. Unlike Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, which greedily devoured everything it touched, Mary’s skill only generated a mild suction force. It did not feel dangerous or raise much concern. It was clearly an underdeveloped version of Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.

‘Maybe she has some form of relationship with the Vampiric Lord.’ Yeon-woo flapped his Sky Wings and pulled Vigrid out of his subspace. Though not as dangerous as Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, Mary’s skill was not entirely weak.

<Kudrak’s Teeth>

It was a race skill that Vampires, Dhampir, Varcolac, Strigoi, and so on collectively possessed. Its main characteristic was an energy drain that allowed the user to recover stamina and magic power by absorbing blood from an injured opponent. Once the skill level increased to a certain point, instead of sucking blood, the user could inject magic power into the opponent and control them like puppets. It was because of this characteristic that vampires were despised and rejected by many races since ancient times.

The inclusion, accidental or otherwise, of one of these vampiric races within a human society could destroy entire villages and countries. Moreover, vampiric beings survived with the blessings of the night and the moon. Since most humans adore the sun and were active during the day, many people found it difficult to understand and get along with the vampiric races.

Thus, vampires were hunted whenever they appeared. There were even vampire hunters called Krsnik who pursued and hunted vampires for a living. From the moment they were born, vampires had to hide their identities. They had to live as quietly as a dead rat, avoiding the attention of others and constantly moving their home bases to avoid capture. It seemed like their destiny was to be chased forever.

Then, the Vampiric Lord had been born. She questioned the fate that seemed unavoidable for all vampires, and she cultivated her powers and fought against the world as the Vampiric Lord. She wanted the moon to be the center of attention that floated over the tower. It was then that she confronted Allforone.

She failed to realize her dream and was beaten back and sent to the void, with only her sword left behind in the Tutorial as a reminder of her existence. Afterwards, the various vampiric races scattered into the darkness. To this day, they missed their queen and waited for the day she would rise again and lead them to glory. In the meantime, they were adamant about hiding in the darkness until that day came.

However, there was a vampire in front of Yeon-woo. She seemed pretty strong, as well. It was evident that she was a high-status member of the vampiric race.

‘It’s natural that the Executioner of Hot Sands, who can rival most of the Nine Kings, decided to serve under her.’ Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was a unique skill created from the evolution of Kudrak’s Teeth, and Yeon-woo could tell how powerful she was just by looking at the vampiric teeth on her Kudrak. It seemed that the skill had almost reached full maturity.

As the cave collapsed around them, the Kudrak’s Teeth sucked in the dust and rocks, creating a suction vortex that spun at a fierce speed. The air itself shook around Yeon-woo while Mary stared at him with a frown.

It was terrifying to see silk-strand veins sprouting like a spiderweb all over her pale face. Only the vampire nobility possessed this appearance. If Yeon-woo hadn’t reacted in time, he would have been eaten whole. The suction power seemed greedy to consume him.

‘I think I’m going in the right direction.’ If someone like her was here, it meant that the Vampiric Lord was probably close by. ‘But…the scent of her blood is different from that of ordinary vampires.’

Since vampires did not reveal their identities openly, even Jeong-woo did not have much contact with them. However, the ones that he did encounter all possessed a similar scent that was reminiscent of the night’s sweetness. Yeon-woo had grown familiar with this type of smell because he often clashed with his younger brother’s light property, which was opposite to his own. The smell right now had a very different feel, which intrigued him. ‘Well, I guess I’ll check out what the difference is.’

[Draconic Eyes]

[Fiery Golden Eyes]

Yeon-woo opened his glowing, golden dragon eyes and swung Vigrid roughly along the grain and imperfections of the violent tornado.

[The hidden true name of ‘Vigrid-???’, Durendal, is released.]

[Folklore: Cutting in two with one strike of the sword]

Thwack! As soon as the shining Vigrid struck, a black aura exploded out and instantly cut through the tornado. Pieces of the tornado smashed against the cave’s walls and ceiling, adding to the speed of the cave’s collapse.

Mary’s torso floated up into the air, her body cleanly cut off at the waist. Her face was flushed with blood and seemed frozen. Her blood spread like a fog, and the fire that rose along the severed areas, swallowing up her upper and lower bodies and turning them to ash. If anyone saw this, they would say that he killed her too ruthlessly.  

However, Yeon-woo remained vigilant because he knew all too well that a physical form was something that vampires only made for convenience’s sake. As expected, the blood in the air suddenly spread out like spilled ink. The edges of the spiky pools of blood turned into various beasts that rushed towards Yeon-woo.

Dozens of dire wolves ran along the ceiling and walls, bearing their sharp teeth. A meter-long giant bat appeared from the ceiling and screeched out an ultrasonic soundwave.

The cave’s floor shook as the undead prisoners who had died in the Cave of Yaaneck throughout the years appeared one by one out of the reddish ground. Yeon-woo couldn’t help laughing at the legion of the undead. Since they were a race that was blessed by the night, vampires had excellent skills in utilizing the undead and ghosts. But even so… ‘To bring out a legion of undead against the person who sits atop the Throne of Death…how laughable.’

It was as if a player who had swung a sword a few times challenged the Martial King to a sword fight. Yeon-woo stomped firmly on the ground with his left foot. His shadow on the ground started to stretch, forming thorns that stood upright and pierced through the dire wolves. If one thorn couldn’t do the job, then two, three, or four more sprang up to pierce Mary’s undead.

They flew up like flickering flames and turned everything into ash. All of a sudden, Mary appeared through the thicket of shadowy thorns and  brought down her fingernails down his temples.

Bang! Yeon-woo quickly lifted Vigrid up to stop Mary, and he sank into the dirt from the force of her strike. His wrists tingled from the impact. Although she was small in stature, her strength and power were immense, enough to contend with any of the Nine Kings. It seemed that her skills were not confined to just magic and race-based abilities.

[Eight Extreme Swords - Secret Skill Explosion]

Yeon-woo pulled Vigrid in as he attempted a counterattack. As he expected, his sharp and powerful attack didn’t meet a counterattack. Poof! Mary suddenly turned into a bloody haze and escaped Vigrid’s blade.

Bam! Bam! Bam! This time, she reappeared around Yeon-woo’s ankles and continued her attack. Blood mist swirled around her hands as she attacked. As the walls started to shatter and collapse, more rocks and dust rained down.

‘Oh, she’s even using physical combat skills.’ Yeon-woo’s eyes widened as he avoided her strikes. Although her attacks could not be considered a martial art, the skill level was not something that could be acquired and properly executed with just a few days of practice.

In addition, she incorporated her bloodline properties into her attack, multiplying its force effectively. This meant that she had accumulated a lot of experience through battle. A person with this ability could not have escaped everyone’s attention or avoided rumors. However, Yeon-woo could not guess who she was. The name she used, Mary, had to be fake. If not…

‘Maybe she’s an ancient existence that no one remembers.’ Throughout the thousands of years of the Tower’s history, countless figures appeared and fell, including those who left a strong myth behind while others flamed brightly for a brief moment before fading into obscurity.  

Most beings belonged to the latter category, and the longer the time passed, one was inevitably forgotten. Maybe this halfling vampire had suffered the same fate. Yeon-woo guessed that she had to be at least 800 years old. Just like Allforone or the Summer Queen, she was a living ancient monster.

Bang! Bang! Bang! However despite that, Yeon-woo didn’t encounter any difficulty. His sword skills had already reached a level that not only allowed him to easily take Mary’s physical attacks but also to counterattack from time to time. In addition, the black flames that sparked and spread out each time they collided tempered her ferocious aura. Boom! Boom! Boom!

The tense confrontation between the two continued without pause. The impacts of their clashes spread out and hastened the collapse of the cave walls. The others who followed Mary had long been buried in a pile of rocks, screaming with their last breaths.

Slash! Yeon-woo neatly cut Mary’s left arm off. It floated into the air as Mary frowned. Her blood mist covered the wound on her shoulder and attempted to regenerate her arm. She could fight without pausing because she had the ability to regenerate quickly. However, this wasn’t something without limits.

How much of her blood had she used up by now? It seemed to be around two-thirds. Her recovery, as well as all sorts of other vampiric skills, including blood-based magic, consumed her blood instead of magic power. If it were any other battle, she would have already absorbed this bastard’s blood and replenished her supply.

However, she was struggling too much, and the fog, which could be called her actual body, was starting to fade. She hadn’t been able to accumulate too much blood in the cave over the past few decades.

Mary realized that Yeon-woo was strong. When she left the Tower decades ago, she thought only the Martial King, Summer Queen, and the Head Bishop could contend with her. She could not make sense of her current predicament and the impossible existence in front of her.

Eventually, Mary’s tiny body was marked with cuts and bruises as she slashed nonstop against Vigrid. Yeon-woo was aware of her condition and continued this battle of attrition, slowly depleting her supply of blood.

Shhh! Then, in a brief moment, Yeon-woo’s left hand tore through space and struck Mary’s face.

‘Explode?’ As soon as she instinctively had that thought, Mary cut her own neck with her razor-sharp nails. It was a terrifying sight to behold; a childlike halfling cutting her own head off without any hesitation. As her little head bounced into the air, the explosion that she’d feared blasted it into smithereens.   

A distance away from the explosion, blood mist clumped together, and Mary reappeared. Her complexion was ghastly pale, and a dry sweetness fluttered in her mouth. “Haa…haa…are you even human? How dare you put me in this state?”

However, as if there was no need for a conversation, Yeon-woo fluttered his wings and activated Blink. He instantly appeared behind her. Mary instinctively straightened her back and moved to the side while clenching her jaw, but Yeon-woo was in close pursuit, his vertical pupils glittering as he stared at her coldly.

Mary finally understood what the strange feeling she’d felt when they first clashed was. He was looking at her as prey, something to be hunted. She became extremely annoyed. ‘How dare he? Who does he think he is to do this to me?’

As a noble of the night with a lifespan of thousands of years, she had always been a winner and a predator. Even when her people were chased by the Krsnik, she was always a person who looked down on them from above. However, she was being thoroughly embarrassed at this moment!

Eventually, Mary pulled out a Blood-Tear Stone from her belt. She wanted to avoid doing this as much as she could. However, there was no other way. “Devour.”

She finally unveiled her vampiric skill and unleashed Kudrak’s Teeth. Four large fangs appeared on her palm and munched on the Blood-Tear Stone, cracking it open. She sucked in the essence at a rapid pace. “Ah.” Mary exclaimed instinctively as a warmth spread along her back. A seemingly infinite amount of power spread throughout her body as her blood haze regained its color. It was said that Blood-Tear Stones were made of blood shed by an otherworld god, and it possessed the qualities of a divine being’s blood. After draining the energy in it, her vitality returned.

“Hahaha!” Mary laughed openly. A fang as big as a thumb popped out between her lips, glinting hideously in the light. She felt an urgent desire to bite off the throat of the cocky guy in front of her.

Once she located the Blood Essence, she would have a chance to glimpse what it was like to be a divine being. ‘However, I’m not in possession of it yet.’ Still, she reassured herself that should be able to find it soon. She achieved a form of awakening by swallowing the Blood-Tear Stone with Kudrak’s Teeth. With this, a new vampire sword would be born, and furthermore, the foundation for transcendence was set! She had been cooped up in this cave for decades for this exact reason.

And now, she had to quickly get rid of the guy in front of her who was tying her down.

“So that’s how you use it.” Yeon-woo smiled as he observed Mary’s actions. Mary frowned, not knowing what he was talking about, but soon, she saw the things he was pulling out, her eyes widened in disbelief.

“W-w-wait…is…is that…?”

Why was the Blood Essence that she’d been searching for over the past few decades in his hands? For a moment, Mary’s mind grew completely blank. She could not fathom what had happened.

[‘Hades’ Spirit Eating Sword’ has broken the ‘Blood Essence’ and absorbed the divine power within it!]

[The blood left behind by the otherworld god has been taken apart, and ‘Divine Factors’ and ‘divinity’ are slowly being absorbed.]

[Be careful! It is a substance that does not belong to the Tower. You are risking the status ‘Infection’.]

The energy drain, which appeared to be more powerful than that of Kudrak’s Teeth or even the Vampiric Lord’s signature skill, was being activated. He was casually doing what she had always dreamed of doing for so long—and with such a smug expression!


At that moment, something snapped in a section of Mary’s mind. She realized why Yeon-woo hadn’t quickly overpowered her. He wanted to observe her using the Blood Essence and Blood-Tear Stone. He had only been toying with her to gather information.

Furious that she was being mocked all this time, Mary raised her magic power to its limits and exploded towards Yeon-woo.

“Boo,” Yeon-woo called out as if annoyed by the sudden outburst. The space in front of her swayed strangely as two solid lines formed diagonally in front of her. Inferno Sight burst open.

As soon as she met Boo’s eyes, Mary stiffened. She had lived as a noblewoman for over a thousand years, but that didn’t mean that she could challenge those with higher ranks than herself. Her instincts were tied to her soul. A sense of utter fear started spreading throughout her body.

A memory that she’d long buried had reappeared. Vampires were a race blessed by the night. Of course, their origins came from the Demon King. There was no way they could resist him.

He was the only entity who could overpower her other than the Vampiric Lord that she respected. The eyes of the Demon King Mephistopheles, who looked at the entire vampiric race as if they were insects, had suddenly appeared in front of her. The horror of the past rushed back.

“I-impossible! Faust…?”

Worthless…trash. How…dare…you…open your…eyes…in the…presence of…my…master.

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