Vulcan was stretching and warming up for the duel as he was walking toward the arena, but he turned his head as he felt an intense, deadly aura.
Vulcan could see Ho-Gyeong, the leader of the Order, glaring at him. His eyes looked like flames could come out of them.
As Vulcan watched Ho-Gyeong looking infuriated, Vulcan felt that joining the Denomination was the right choice.
‘If I didn’t do anything about it, looks like I would have been in a violent incident eventually.’
Vulcan couldn’t tell if Ho-Gyeong was like this because of his son or the proxy duel, but it looked like Ho-Gyeong was the type that just could not stand anything that were not to his likings.
Vulcan checked Ho-Gyeong’s level.
[Ultra-Zenith Swordsman Ho-Gyeong the Blade King]
‘He is also a Ultra-Zenith warrior on par with Bellon.’
Vulcan figured it was obvious since Ho-Gyeong is the number one in the Golden Ranking.
Vulcan quickly turned his head and lowered it. He was trying hard not to let his gaze run into Ho-Gyeong’s eyes.
However, Vulcan still could feel burning glare coming from Ho-Gyeong. It felt like the glare could burn a hole through his body.
All of sudden, Vulcan felt annoyed, and the sensation was quickly filling up inside.
In the end, Vulcan was now under Bellon’s umbrella, and from now on, Vulcan was planning on leveling up in a hunting ground where his safety was guaranteed.
It was likely that today was going to be the first and the last time Vulcan would run into Ho-Gyeong, the leader of the Order.
Therefore, all Vulcan had to do was to just go through the proxy duel diligently and come down from the arena. However, although everything was coming to satisfactory conclusions, on the side, this situation was just not to Vulcan’s liking.
‘Shit. Really, how did it all come to this?’
Definitely, only a month ago, Vulcan was diligently approaching new heights without any worries. Vulcan also was careful with his mannerism toward others to avoid unnecessary conflicts with others.
Considering all of these, Vulcan felt wronged. It was driving him insane.
“So you are Vulcan. I heard rumors about you.”
To front of Vulcan, who was deep in thoughts, the Order of Virtue’s proxy duel fighter approached.
The fighter was keeping them in check, but his battle spirit and deadly aura could not be hidden. With those mixed together, they provoked Vulcan, who was standing around like a statue. However, Vulcan was not showing any response.
‘Is it because he has guts? Or is he just ignoring me?’
Jin-Gwak of the namless spear, the proxy fighter for the Order, grinded his teeth as he watched this newbie not showing any sign of response from his provocation.
Jin-Gwak was quite surprised when he saw Vulcan came out as the Denomination’s proxy fighter because Vulcan was the number one in the Rookie Ranking and also the talk of the Beloong City.
Jin-Gwak entered the proxy duel with confidence because he believed he was skilled enough to be on lower end of the Golden Ranking, but he didn’t think Vulcan would be the one he will be going up against.
Until now, he was quite certain of his victory, but now, his chance of victory plummeted by a large margin. However, instead, Jin-Gwak was thinking that this was an opportunity for him.
‘Being called the top end of the First-Rate or the entry-level Zenith… I found those to be lacking, so this is good.’
He knew that he wasn’t going to be able to raise his fame and status by beating some ordinary level opponent. All he would have gotten out of the duel would’ve been something in lines of people recognizing that he was the Order’s secret weapon, and he fought well.
However, if he defeated Vulcan, the graduate in training and also the number one in the Rookie Ranking, Jin-Gwak would be able to obtain huge fame.
He thought to himself that he should put everything on the line and fight with all of his might. However…
To Vulcan, who didn’t seem to care at all about Jin-Gwak, he said,
“Hey. You have an opponent in front of you. How about you quit your useless thoughts?”
Jin-Gwak directly talked to Vulcan, but there was still no response from him.
With his face completely crumpled, Jin-Gwak was about to say something again, but Vulcan finally opened his mouth.
“This is so annoying.”
“You are here with intention to kill me, right?”
“I’ll assume that you are prepared for possibility of the same consequence for yourself.”
As Jin-Gwak was cringing his face in light of unexpected responses from Vulcan, the proxy duel’s judge shouted out loud,
Jin-Gwak was dumbfounded by Vulcan’s words. Having heard the judge, Jin-Gwak quickly took a stance and glared at Vulcan.
Vulcan was now showing a completely different side unlike the vacant stare that he was giving until a moment ago.
From the start, Vulcan cast the Superheated Inferno. Flames of Hell rose up from underneath Vulcan’s feet.
Jin-Gwak was going to promptly charge at Vulcan before he could make any moves or perform any tricks, but he gasped for air as he faced flame magic attacks flying at him at incredible speeds.
He was thinking about going on the offensive after dodging the lumps of flames coming at his head, stomach and legs. However, that was only his wishful thinking.
Against incredible number of magic attacks charging at him at once from all directions he could possibly go, Jin-Gwak chaotically swung around his spear. However, stopping them all was impossible.
Jin-Gwak’s spear techniques specialized in piercing the opponent in a single blow, and it required him to take the lead on the battle and quickly charging toward the opponent. It had an offensive power that he was proud to show off, but on the contrary, when it came to defense, his technique didn’t have anything special.
Jin-Gwak always have stabbed the opponents’ hearts before they had time to respond. Now that he was facing large number of magic attacks coming at him at incredible speed for the first time, Jin-Gwak was not able to get a grip on the situation.
So, in the end, he used protective energy blades to withstand the Superheated Inferno and other magic attacks he didn’t manage to strike down.
Of course, in this state, it was impossible for him to shift into offense.
The battle was one sided with Vulcan dealing all of attacks, and Jin-Gwak essentially became a training dummy.
‘No way. This bastard’s casting speed… They are powerful as well, but how is he casting so fast?’
The magic attacks were simple. Projectiles, which were burning at high temperatures, were being poured at him, and there was nothing special about them.
However, this was an example where one skill polished to the peak performance was shining more brightly than possessing a few dozen miscellaneous skills.
Vulcan’s Hellfire was sharper than magic by other mages specializing in flame element. In fact, it was beyond comparison. Vulcan’s magic was gradually pushing Jin-Gwak into his grave.
Also, things targeting Jin-Gwak’s life were not just the magic attacks he could track with his eyes.
Explosion, a magic that explodes flames in the nearby area and deals huge damage, showed off its power. It had been a while since Vulcan used this skill.
Using illusion-step technique, Jin-Gwak made a short distance teleport and got past the pinch, but Jin-Gwak felt like his insides were burning from the anxiety.
The entire battlefield was covered in flames from the Superheated Inferno, and the Explosion occurred without any hint or sign. To Jin-Gwak, Vulcan’s Explosion technique was like calamities.
The Explosions were like deadly ambush attacks coming at him only when he had gaps in his defense due to being overwhelmed. It was striking fear in him.
Jin-Gwak’s face was gradually being saturated with a sense of despair.
‘This is… I have no choice. Even if I have to spend the Life Force… Even if I have to risk death or losing my ability to use energy technique forever… As a last resort…’
He readied himself for the possibilities of permanent injuries or death as he surrounded himself with multiple layers of black energy blades. He eventually surrounded himself with 13 layers of energy blades, making an appearance that looked like a ball.
It was just about when Jin-Gwak was going to activate his Soul-Steal-Flash technique.
He could feel something.
Because he was preoccupied with wrapping himself in energy blades, he failed to notice until now. There was a gigantic fist approaching the top of his head at an unavoidable speed.
There was the Ifrit’s Fist, a gigantic fist which was 100 ft in diameter, falling toward Jin-Gwak to destroy him.
The Ifrit’s Fist magic was not for fighting a human opponent. Instead, it was meant to be used to squash a super sized monster in a single blow.
It was an extremely mana-inefficient technique that Vulcan could not even think about using until he went past level 300.
Regardless, compensating for its drawback in the mana consumption, Ifrit’s Fist was a certain-kill magic that showed off an incredible damage.
Violent sounds of explosions, as if several thousands of dynamites exploded all together, echoed throughout the battlefield.
The spectators quickly activated their magic and martial techniques to protect their ears.
The effect from the collision subsided, and the scene that revealed itself afterwards was shocking enough to be called a result of a natural disaster.
There was a huge crater as if a meteor fell, and the trees nearby were still burning in intense flames with no sign of calming down.
There was no sign of Jin-Gwak.
It was because he was vaporized by the impact from the Ifrit’s Fist.
On the other hand, in middle of the burning field, Vulcan was still standing tall.
Due to excessive use of mana, Vulcan’s shoulders were moving up and down as he tried to catch breath. Still, he appeared completely clean without a scratch.
Having witnessed the battle, everyone’s faces were saturated with shock.
“Against a spear-master of such caliber…”
“Simply using… By overwhelming… He didn’t even use his sword! With just his magic…!”
“This… Even if we called him as just below the Blade King or the Battle King…”
“… I know.”
Impressed, people started to express their opinions in words as they woke up from the state of shock. They were expecting that the duel would be a high-class battle between two top-notch warriors, but they ended up witnessing something far more incredible.
A shock similar to the last year, when Lee Jung-Yup made an entrance like a comet, was engulfing them like a tidal wave. Actually, this was beyond comparison.
In case of Lee Jung-Yup, he reached the top end of the Zenith-Rate at an explosive rate, but to produce that result, it took him 150 years.
To people who are unaware of this fact, it looked like Lee Jung-Yup just grew in power in no time, but actually, he spent very long hard years enduring excruciating training to get to the seventh place in the Golden Ranking.
However, it was different with Vulcan.
It was like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly at an unstoppable speed without going through the process of chrysalis.
It was equal to speeding through the field on a Red Hare horse when others barely finished learning how to walk and were just starting to think about trying out a slow jogging.
“The greatest talent… ever.”
This was the world where the greatest warriors of lower dimensions gathered. Three out of five were considered the undefeated champions of their former worlds, and once in a while, there were some who would be the best in the history of the past and even the future.
Now, in light of the greatest talent that they have ever met, people couldn’t hide their excitement.
“The more I see it… I’m surprised more and more.”
Having witnessed the conclusion of the duel, Bellon applauded with a satisfied smile.
Other members of the Denomination, who were not able to get a hold of their minds from the shock, followed Bellon and started applauding wholeheartedly, and it soon spread to others not associated with the Denomination.
However, the top-notch warriors from the Order of Virtue did not join in the atmosphere.
Actually, they couldn’t.
Anyone that saw Ho-Gyeong’s face would had no choice but to be careful. An uncomfortable atmosphere, the kind that was making them feeling uneasy even to just breathe loudly, was chaining them down.
“You have done a good work, Vulcan.”
With an exhilarating smile, Bellon said to Vulcan, who had just returned from achieving a definite victory.
With his mind still convoluted with thoughts, Vulcan lightly nodded and walked toward where Dokgo Hoo was.
When everyone else was being serious, Dokgo Hoo was looking at Vulcan as he crunched and munched on popcorn.
Vulcan’s face completely crumpled.
“Ugh! What a lunatic you are, big bro! I had to go through all that trouble because of you, but you are not being thankful at all!”
“What! You rascal! How dare you talk in such an insolent tone to your big brother!”
“If you didn’t act foolish during my duel against Ho-Gwang, my life wouldn’t be in the state it is now!”
“What? Just yesterday, you were all excited and happy that you are able to level up fast and went past level 350 already!”
“That was just one silver-lining that came out of all other disastrous incidents!”
“Oh my, looks like we should have that duel that we didn’t get to that time.”
Bellon made a quick glance at the two arguing and then redirected his gaze toward Ho-Gyeong.
He was straining his jaw enough to crush his teeth.
“It appears that, for this duel, the victory belongs to us.”
“As you promised, we will take the special herbs found in the west gate area. Do you have any objections?”
Ho-Gyeong was glaring at Bellon, but soon he closed his eyes.
Bellon had a big smile on his face, and Ho-Gyeong wanted to tear his mouth apart immediately.
He wanted to go on a full out war right now, break the bones of those bastards from the Denomination and carve their hearts out.
Like how things were in the lower dimensions, he wanted to go back to the time when he was the unstoppable power.
At that moment, voices could be heard from somewhere.
“Oh you crazy old man, how could you be so stubborn?”
“It is not being stubborn! It’s called having a grit! Also, I never once thought I have done anything wrong!”
“That is not… I was wrong. Just… from now on, can’t you kill your anger just a little and live?”
“Little brother, just what are you so worried about? Now that we are acknowledged by the Denomination, we no longer have to worry about looking over our shoulders.”
“Ugh… Let’s just stop talking about it here.”
Ho-Gyeong’s eyes lit up at an instant.
He glared at the source of the voice. His entire body was shaking out of rage.
‘Vulcan… Dokgo Hoo…!’
“Ho-Gyeong. Do you have any objections? You sure are taking a while to respond.”
Having noticed Ho-Gyeong’s murderous intent, Bellon stared with curious eyes as he asked.
Ho-Gyeong briefly directed his gaze toward Bellon and turned his back immediately.
Following their infuriated leader, the officials from the Order quickly disappeared.
Bellon accepted Ho-Gyeong’s silence as the agreement. He smiled big and said,
“Hahaha. We paid back the humiliation from the last year with interest. All right. Let’s head back as well!”
With cheers, the people from the Denomination replied to Bellon’s words. Meanwhile, standing amongst them, Vulcan made an uneasy face.
‘This is probably the end of all that… This was probably the best.’
It wasn’t like there was nothing about this that bothered him, but anyhow, Vulcan and Dokgo Hoo now successfully established themselves inside the Denomination.
As he stole some popcorn from Dokgo Hoo, Vulcan tried best to think positively.