Chapter 181: Rupture (16)
Who pulled the sword, or who attacked first — Surha couldn’t remember. Maybe she was the first, or maybe it was one of the Lords. But it didn’t matter. What mattered was that the fight had begun and there was no going back.
“Surha, you cannot defeat us.”
The situation wasn’t going well for them.
“You’ll never know until the end,” Surha replied as she deflected Imai’s sword. Imai’s Katana, ‘Blade Fury’, wasn’t an easy weapon to deal with, especially with Surha’s ‘Thunder Demon’.
Surha’s weapon left many afterimages in the air, confusing the enemy while Imai’s sword changed its shape flexibly to attack or defend at will. Therefore, no matter how many images Surha’s weapon left, Imai’s sword would easily adapt to deal with every situation.
“This is disappointing. I thought you might have found a great ally when you left Rupture.”
Imai charged, utilizing his ever-changing sword to make room for his attack. Surha was pushed back. They didn’t use their unique worlds yet, so the traits of their weapons hadn’t played a vital role yet.
“So, the ‘hope’ you spoke of was that fool?”
Imai felt anguished.
“Surha! I can’t understand. Why…!”
Surha did not answer. There was no way she could explain. Imai Kazuki, the 3rd Captain of Rupture, was the man who was devoted to Myad’s will.
“I trusted you…”
Imai’s disappointment wasn’t just from she leaving the Rupture. Surha knew about Imai’s feelings toward her. After all, she had been in Rupture long enough. Yet, she had to act if she did not know — that was the last bit of respect she held for her old friend.
Thunder struck her chained scythe and Imai quickly jumped back from the raining world power. Surha quickly glanced around.
There were three enemies. Captain Imai was fighting her, so two were left.
‘Varkant is there.’
The Lord of Dragons was fighting against Karlton, Sirwen, and Runald. Chunghuh, who was the 3rd most powerful after Jaehwan and Surha, was busy healing a certain Awakener.
Varkant dodged the attack from two enemies and spat, “Nightmare girl, you are quite fast. I’ll look forward to how far you can run.”
“This way, Miss!”
But the attack was too fast. Varkant’s long claw ripped Sirwen’s sleeveless top from her breasts to her stomach. The wound was merely a scratch, but the clothes were ripped open. Sirwen bit her lips as she covered her chest. She knew Varkant didn’t kill her on purpose.
They had no chance. Karlton was a 4th step Awakener with no unique world, Sirwen wasn’t’ used to fighting, and Runald was only a boy had no chance against Varkant. He was the stronger enemy even if Surha joined them.
‘The bigger problem is that I’m not sure if I can defeat Imai.’
Surha frowned as she saw Imai charging in. His world power had increased greatly since the last time she had seen him.
‘Ugh, we’ve got no choice.’
Surha then unleashed her unique world and glanced at the center of the fight.
‘It’s all up to you now.’
Gerome became intrigued as he stood against Jaehwan’s [Fall]. The [Fall] constantly tried to strike down Gerome’s unique world <<System>>.
It was a Setting that destroyed worlds. It was obvious that his Generals had lost.
If the master of the System wasn’t the ruler of <Depth>, Big Brother, or Gerome’s world power which was a bit weaker, Jaehwan’s [Fall] would have decimated his spirit and destroyed the unique world.
It was amazing — a human who could fight against a Lord on the same level. There was no one else who had such power except the Master of Rupture until now.
Even after countless exchanges with world power attacks, the destruction around them wasn’t too severe as both powers canceled each other out. It was the sort of a fight where they were checking each other’s capabilities before going into a real fight. After they exchanged a few more blows, Jaehwan made a comment.
“You’re weaker than you look.”
Gerome smiled at the unexpected claim. Jaehwan continued, “I thought you were the Vicegerent of Big Brother.”
“Yes. I am his Vicegerent. What’s the problem?”
“Your world power isn’t that great considering that fact.”
Vicegerents shared world power with their Gods. Big Brother’s unique world was the System. If all ‘Adapters’ who used the System within the <Great Lands> were considered his Followers, Big Brother was the god with the most Followers in this world. It was apparent that the world power should have been far greater.
“I see. That’s what you meant,” Gerome commented as he understood. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but Big Brother’s world power isn’t something that a mere Vicegerent can hold. Your spirit will explode if you try that.”
“Really? That is disappointing,” Jaehwan spoke disappointingly and it seemed like Gerome became a bit uncomfortable.
“I don’t need the world power from that thing to crush you down.”
“That thing? Can you talk to your God like that?”
“A God whose face and voice that I don’t know of. I don’t need to be careful about such a thing.”
Those words seemed to be wrong. Big Brother’s Vicergent didn’t know what Big Brother looked like? Jaehwan couldn’t continue his thoughts however as his sword began to cry loudly when Gerome pulled something out from his cape. It was a sword, a sword that looked very cold. Yet, it looked very similar to Jaehwan’s sword as if they were a pair from the beginning.
“So, the swords recognize each other. Yes. This is the real ‘Frost Dragon Sword’.”
Frost Dragon Sword. Jaehwan then remembered his sword’s name again. His sword started off as a replica of the sword. He then remembered that the real sword didn’t exist since no one had hunted down Forst Dragon Velkisus yet.
“I went down to the Forgotten Region and got my hands on this. My sword has the spirit of Frost Dragon King Velkisus in it. Your fake sword seems to hold some weird thing too.”
Jaehwan looked down at his sword. Both swords roared at each other. It looked like the real Frost Dragon Sword was saying this:
“You are fake. Your ‘reality’ is fake.”
Jaehwan’s sword shook and he clenched it. Gerome said, “I heard your goal is to destroy the System. It’s an interesting thought.”
Jaehwan realized Gerome was going to charge in soon. The real fight was about to begin.
World power exploded. Jaehwan was certain that this being was stronger than any other opponent Jaehwan had fought until now. He felt it throughout his body.
“When I heard it at first, I thought it was foolish. To have everything turn out this way because of such a foolish thought…”
Gerome recalled the memories as he looked at Jaehwan.
He’d seen the video that Cultivator Beastlain had sent him. He heard Jaehwan had escaped the tower. He learned that his <Chaos> Invasion plan had failed. He heard the rumor that the Palace of Reincarnation had been destroyed. He learned that many of his Generals, including Sameng Hoon, had been killed.
Who would have thought that this man was going to do all that?
“You became Awakened by just repeating your stabs, right?”
Jaehwan did not answer. Gerome continued, “You must be proud of yourself. You must think that you have achieved something, that you have overcome the System.”
Gerome’s voice had rage in it. Jaehwan saw dark energy surrounding Gerome’s sword. Jaehwan activated his [Suspicion] to its limit and realized that the energy was not a world power. It was a certain [Setting] — a Setting that Jaehwan was very used to.
“You think you have overcome the System, but you must know this. You don’t even know what the system ‘really is’.”
The energy from Gerome’s sword, was the [Skill].
Skill was what countless Adapters who shared the System Interface used. Gerome’s skill wasn’t a ‘top-grade skill’ that Generals liked to use. Jaehwan knew this skill well as it was the first skill that every newcomer to the Tower of Nightmares had to learn.
A skill to forcefully strike one down. The energy was focused onto Gerome’s sword.
‘But that’s a bash?’
World power that was being gathered in shook the air around. How long one must have trained to achieve… how far… That’s when Jaehwan realized-
What if there was a being, unlike Jaehwan who trained ‘stab’ that was outside of the System, trained bash, a [Skill] inside the system? And what if that being trained only that for thousands of years?
“Awakening? There is no such thing in this world. No being, not one, can move out of this System.”
The skill that had been trained for thousands of years — the dark, red world power that could destroy the site with one blow charged toward Jaehwan.