‘That’s not it.
I just got tired because I had been continuously fighting powerful enemies. I’m just mistaking it.’
However, such thoughts didn’t help Vulcan at all.
This was a simple matter of checking Fowaru’s level.
However, Vulcan’s instinct was making him feel uncomfortable. He was hesitant to use the SYSTEM because he was afraid of confirming his fear.
A moment had passed. However, that was enough for Fowaru to close the distance.
Vulcan, who had been hesitating, used the SYSTEM and checked Fowaru’s ability.
Fowaru’s level was displayed.
[Ancient Ferocious Eater Fowaru]
Vulcan promptly cursed.
It was too late for him to use the return scroll.
It was also probably too late for him to make a break for it.
Vulcan was confident about speed, but it looked like Fowaru’s approaching speed was significantly faster.
Vulcan tightly grabbed the blade’s handle, enough to break the handle of an ordinary blade.
He had to do his best and fight Fowaru.
Vulcan had no other option.
With a loud sound of explosion as if a meteor crashed on the ground, Fowaru landed.
It seemed the man was not able to contain the overflowing power.
He was smiling big with his sharp shark-like teeth fully shown. Fowaru looked more terrifying than the demons from hell. Also, his skin looked tainted, and that was making Vulcan feel disgusted.
Vulcan knew Fowaru as the kind man who greeted customers with smiles at the general store. It was unbelievable to see Fowaru like this.
‘How could a man like this hide his true self all along?’
Actually, before that question, Vulcan pondered at how Fowaru could have become so strong. He couldn’t understand how it was possible.
Vulcan heard that Fowaru never set foot outside of the Espo City while Vulcan was grinding for 100 years for the Vitality Marbles.
Of course, there was a possibility of reaching a new height through meditation like Murim warriors. However…
‘Fowaru is not a Murim warrior… Also, even if he was one, the timing is just so odd.’
Vulcan didn’t even dream about the possibility that this was the result of the items he gave to Fowaru.
He merely resented the terrible timing. Fowaru came back stronger than ever when Vulcan temporally lost the support of the Blue Dragon.
“Why? I heard you were in trouble, so I came as fast as I could to…”
“Cut the bullshit.”
“… Hm? Really? Then how about this?”
His teeth collided and made violent sounds.
The noise sounded as if blades were clashing.
Vulcan cringed because he hated hearing the noise. However, it seemed Fowaru was having fun watching Vulcan’s reaction. The smile on Fowaru’s face thickened. He made the noise louder.
KAAAANG KAAAANG KAAANG KAAANG
Fowaru looked juvenile.
Watching the man, Vulcan looked puzzled.
He could explain Fowaru’s viciousness as just something that Fowaru had been hiding until now. However, Fowaru looked like a huge weight was lifted off from him. The man looked light.
Actually, it felt like another being had taken possession of Fowaru’s shell.
It seemed even Fowaru realized that Vulcan was dumbfounded by all this. Fowaru stopped making the noise with his teeth.
Fowaru was enraged.
“You bastard! You dare to ignore me! I’ll chew you off!”
“Ah, I shouldn’t do that. He is going to be my faithful slave from now on… I must not kill him. I mustn’t…”
Fowaru looked like he was going to charge in and kill Vulcan immediately. Now, he suddenly stopped his body and shook his head.
It was obvious that the man was not in his right mind.
Vulcan thought so as well.
The energy felt from outside and the level estimated through the SYSTEM explained that Fowaru who was standing before Vulcan was definitely powerful.
However, the behavior displayed by the man was no different from an old man suffering from dementia.
Vulcan looked at Fowaru for a moment and came to a conclusion.
‘It looks like… He tried to reach a new height through a dangerous path and ended up losing his mind.’
Vulcan’s conjecture was close to what actually happened.
One hundred years ago, Fowaru received the items from Vulcan. In the end, Fowaru was unable to fight off his appetite. In just ten years, Fowaru consumed all of the Duke Demon’s Boots.
In comparison to other ferocious eaters, Fowaru possessed powerful will that was like cold-steel. He had been using his will power to suppress his appetite. However, having felt the powerful taste of the Duke Demon armor, holding out was impossible.
In the end, Fowaru absorbed more demon energy than he could handle. Fowaru started to lose his former self. Now, he became a being who was driven by instincts. His mind was coming and going.
“Kuhuhu. I see. That would be the better way. Hey, Vulcan!”
It seemed Fowaru had his thought organized. The man stopped muttering by himself and called Vulcan.
Vulcan glared at Fowaru with weary eyes. Vulcan didn’t respond.
Finding Vulcan’s reaction to be foolish, Fowaru said,
“You are shriveling big time. You scardy cat… I won’t hurt you, so don’t be afraid. Hey, can you see this?”
Fowaru brought out a small glass bottle.
It was a liquid that was brighter and clearer than blood. The liquid swirled around inside a glass bottle that was the size of about two fingers.
Fowaru looked at it and said,
“This is called the Elixir of Servitude. If I mix my blood with this and have it consumed by the one I want to use as a servant, I can work that bastard like a slave for one hundred years at will. Of all potions I made, I could say this is my masterpiece. Isn’t this incredible? Uuhahaha!”
“Tsk. Not going to say anything? Well, fine. I’ll go straight to the point. Drink this. If you do, then I’ll spare your life.”
“It’s as I said. Become my slave and work for me for 100 years… no, just 300 years. With your abilities, get me items… items like the boots you brought me before. If you continue to pay me tributes with such items, I’ll release you in 300 years… No! 500 years! I promise to release you after 500 years! What do you think? Isn’t that a great deal?”
Fowaru kept on increasing the duration as he talked.
Like a child, he was honestly telling Vulcan about his desire. Vulcan found this laughable. Also, Vulcan now learned exactly why Fowaru was after him. Vulcan felt his head clearing up.
‘So, you were tempted about the Duke Demon Set…’
It might have been the right answer. It might not have been as well.
Of course, Vulcan could not accept Fowaru’s terms.
Besides the fact about the promised duration that could not be trusted, Vulcan was absolutely enraged by Fowaru trying to enslave him over some items. Vulcan could not stand it.
Vulcan was even more angry about this because Vulcan had good impression about Jake, Fowaru’s pupil.
Vulcan thought about a distant memory where he met Fowaru for the first time.
‘Now that I think about it, the first impression was bad.’
Thinking about not so pleasant memory, Vulcan nodded.
“Kuuhu, I knew you would refu… What?”
“I said all right. Instead of dying… I think your proposition is better.”
It seemed Fowaru was not expecting this. He looked at Vulcan and blinked his eyes.
However, he soon raised his head high up and broke into a huge laughter.
“HAHAHA! You have a pretty good brain on your shoulders…”
It was at that brief moment when Fowaru’s gaze left Vulcan.
Aiming for this moment, Vulcan used the Land-fold for a surprise attack.
The target location was just behind Fowaru.
The attack measure was the Thunder God Blade, the one that Vulcan was most confident of.
It was quite literally lightning fast move.
It was the kind of move that would have been fatal to those who didn’t know about the existence of Land-fold technique. The attack was sharp enough to possibly decide the outcome of this duel in one move.
Explosive swing of the blade crossed the air. It looked like the Heavenly Lightning Blade was about to make a fine red line across Fowaru’s neck.
Fowaru’s face turned almost 180 degrees.
Vulcan’s blade was surrounded in full by powerful energy of Thunder God Blade technique. However, Fowaru blocked it with his teeth. Fowaru rapidly turned his head.
Because of Fowaru’s incredible power, Vulcan lost grip on the blade. Fowaru watched Vulcan putting distance. Fowaru said some swearing in inaudible pronunciations. He then clashed his teeth with violent intent to eat the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
However, because it was an indestructible item, it was not damaged from Fowaru’s attempt.
Vulcan quickly opened the equipment window through the SYSTEM and placed the Heavenly Lightning Blade back in the inventory. He then equipped it again.
The blade was wielded on Vulcan’s hand again. Fowaru was surprised to see this. He said,
“As I thought, a Player is a mysterious being. You can perform such a strange trick.”
“Since you refused my deal, I’ll use you as a slave and turn you into an experimental rat.”
Fowaru fortified his body with mana and said in a violent voice like a wild animal.
Like a reckless merchant at a commerce district, Vulcan spat on the ground and responded to Fowaru.
“Bring it on, you monster bastard.”
* * *
“Kuhu… How could this be? You are a lot more powerful than I thought. I think you are even stronger than my former self from a hundred years ago! What an insane growth rate!”
Although he was talking, Fowaru continued to move restlessly.
It was to catch up to Vulcan who was dodging in all sorts of ways with sparks surrounding his body.
“How did you become so strong so fast? Huh? Hey, say something!”
Fowaru was acting like a juvenile who was chasing a vagrant while throwing pebbles at him. With unpleasant tone of voice, he continued to pester Vulcan with questions.
However, Vulcan, the one who was on the receiving end of the attacks, had no moments to spare to answer the questions.
Fowaru’s punches were coming at him like endless waves. There were also invisible shockwaves that were difficult to dodge.
Vulcan was the type who exuded greater power in difficult combat situations. However, despite this, Vulcan couldn’t find any gap in the waves of attacks to turn the tide in his favor.
He could only continue to diligently perform spirit transformation and Land-fold to create variables.
The goddess of victory was still intending to raise Fowaru’s arms.
Fowaru swung his arm in a large motion and launched a shockwave.
Vulcan leaned back his upper body all the way to avoid it. He then promptly straightened the back and breathed fire from his mouth.
The flame was shot to a wide area.
At the same time, Ifrit’s Fists were mixed in and launched toward Fowaru.
However, Fowaru laughed as if he thought they were pathetic. He smiled once. He opened his hands and created a barrier.
Fowaru used the barrier to charge in.
By an invisible square wall, all of Vulcan’s magic spells were neutralized.
However, due to large explosions, the dust clouds blocked everyone’s visions.
Vulcan finally felt his chance for attack had come. He used the Superheated Inferno.
The flame spread from below Vulcan’s feet. It was like lava.
Fowaru checked the ground and realized he should not take this lightly. He hardened his face and violently swung his hand.
It was as if he just swept away a curtain. The dust clouds were completely gone.
However, several tens of thousand Infinite Flame Orbs bombarded the area immediately afterwards. The dust clouds rose up again.
Fowaru swung his arm again to secure his vision.
At that moment, he saw that Vulcan had come right in front of him.
It seemed Vulcan was not intending to spare any strength. The blade was wrapped in golden light, and the light was extending out like a lance. Vulcan was charging in.
Fowaru snorted. He raised his right hand and generated several tens of layers of barriers. At that moment, Vulcan’s body disappeared.
‘Kuku. Same trick!’
Fowaru’s both eyes popped out like a frog, and they rolled independently.
It was a bizarre move, becoming of a horror movie.
However, the move was perfect for securing his field of view.
With a method that defied common sense, Fowaru was able to see all sides around him. He quickly turned around and created several tens of layers of barriers.
Fowaru could make them without using his hand. However, doing so was going to reduce the defensive power of the barriers.
The energy contained in the blade that Vulcan was swinging was powerful. Even Fowaru could not take it lightly, so he had to put in efforts into generating the barriers.
‘After I block your attack, I’ll explode the barriers!’
The power of the explosion from the barrier in a close range was something even Fowaru was going to have a hard time withstanding.
He thought there was no way that someone like Vulcan would be able to block it.
Fowaru was smiling, thinking about how Vulcan would turn into neatly cut pieces of meat soon. However, he looked like he just realized the silliness in his idea.
His goal was capturing Vulcan alive, not kill him.
‘I should explode just one layer.’
Fowaru decided to adjust the explosion’s power. By the time he came to a conclusion about what to do, he had turned his body all the way to the back.
However, there was nothing behind him.
Fowaru quickly surrounded his entire body in barriers and turned his head to the back.
By transforming into the Fire Spirit, Vulcan had teleported again to the back of Fowaru.
Vulcan disengaged the spirit form and struck down the Thunder God Blade toward the top of Fowaru’s head.