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Chapter 366 - Final Evolution (3)

    Chapter 366 - Final Evolution (3)

    Kwaaaaang!

    King Hodae's fist hit empty air, producing a shockwave that broke the wall. Even a stray fist contained enough power to break down the wall. If even one blow landed properly, Veronica's movements would be hindered. Veronica thought this and immediately changed her balance.

    She saw it not once but twice. King Hodae's attack had the speed of the wind and the strength to break the castle, but that was it.

    'The strikes depend on physical strength while the power to control the wind isn't as strong. Perhaps his skills weren't that different from before he changed.'

    She avoided King Hodae's fist and moved her hand without hesitation. It was simple. An object moving quickly in a straight line was vulnerable to attacks from the side. It was the same principle as when arrows were deflected off leaves.

    Teong!

    [Huh?] As his fist moved vertically into the empty sky in vain, the ferocious face of the tiger king took on a dumb expression for a moment. It was because his fighting capacity was so low he couldn't grasp the situation. Veronica wouldn't miss this moment of inexperience.

    「ускорение (Acceleration)! 」

    Dragon Words-this was a hand that allowed her to overturn the limitations of a quarter dragon a few times a day. Veronica became three times faster and shot forward, leaving blurry afterimages behind. It happened before King Hodae could even adjust his position. At a speed faster than sound, Veronica's fists struck.

    Kwa kwa kwa kwang!

    The solar plexus, the ribs, the lower part of the abdomen-she hit King Hodae's body three times before aiming for any part of his face that was within distance. It was an all-out barrage. Veronica's fist came shooting forward again only for King Hodae to fall back a few meters.

    "...Tch!" However, Veronica clicked her tongue at the result. She had tried to break bones. Yet, rather than bones being broken, only some of the leather was peeled off. It might be a perfect counter, but it meant Veronica couldn't defeat him in her current state.

    Unsurprisingly, King Hodae soon regained his balance. [Y-You dare! You dare swing a fist at me...!]

    The force increased in response to the irrational wrath. It wasn't a lie that the blood of the sacred creature, the white tiger had awakened. Before Veronica could say anything sarcastic, a storm blew.

    Kuooooh!

    This was a whirlwind that was like the blade of the sword. The tiger king wrapped himself in the sword-storm and rushed at Veronica. The storm would tear steel with just a touch. Veronica realized that this was several times more annoying than before and increased the flames around her body. As long as these flames survived, the storm couldn't hurt her.

    [Using little tricks!]

    "You are one to talk, damn cat!"

    This was the dominance of a superior relationship, with the fire burning the wind. The wind might respond to the white tiger's call, but it couldn't remove the flames of a red dragon. Veronica would've overwhelmed the situation if she was at full strength. However, after the last few days, her strength was much less than what the perfectly fine King Hodae possessed. Additionally, this battlefield itself was like a shackle to Veronica.

    'I can win if I turn into the draconic state. But if I transform now... the castle won't make it through the night.'

    It was a technique that had, for a few minutes, held back Invidia who boasted more destructive power than a transcendent. If Veronica transformed into the draconic state now, she had the confidence to destroy that tiger in a few minutes. The problem was that she would be drained and would have to rest from defending the walls for half a day. Was it possible for them to maintain the current situation without Veronica?

    'No. If I'm not present they won't be able to endure for two hours, let alone half a day.'

    It was a battle where she couldn't be defeated and also a battle where she couldn't fight with all of her strength. Considering all these variables, was there a way for her to defeat this cat? Veronica thought about it while avoiding the still crude punches and came up with an answer. It was impossible alone, but it was possible for two people.

    'Will that kid notice my intentions?'

    One step, one more step... She pretended to be pushed back. Veronica didn't dare look away and had to rely on luck. Sylvia who had come to Hyungkang Castle with her... Veronica had to join up with Sylvia and knock out the tiger in a two against one match. There was no other solution.

    Chaaeng!

    At this moment, King Hodae swung his fist with a big action, and Veronica took advantage of this momentum to lift her body. It was to approach Sylvia as naturally as possible. Nevertheless, the impact of lowering her guard was significant.

    "Cough!"

    She had never met a human more powerful than her before, and now there was a whole area full of monsters. The muscles in both her arms were torn, but fortunately, the bones were okay. However, they would also break with two more hits.

    [Huhaha! You will finally die!] King Hodae ignorantly swung his fist without even guessing Veronica's intentions.

    One hit, one more hit... Their positions changed every time a shock wave burst out. As Veronica planned, it was slowly heading toward Sylvia. Unfortunately, the soldiers in the way were adversely affected. However, Veronica was getting closer to her destination.

    -Red Tower Master, Sylvia's voice rang in her head at that moment, -I'll match the timing. Red Tower Master, give the signal.

    There was no time to answer magically, so Veronica responded with her flames. Now was a chance to win, to cut off the head of the enemy. Veronica's two golden eyes narrowed as she moved like she was dancing through the storm that King Hodae had caused. There was only one chance. If this failed, only a gamble remained.

    Huuung!

    A big fist moved above Veronica's head.

    '-Now.' Veronica saw the right timing and took a step.

    Flames flowed from her fist as three magic spells worth of magic power was consumed from her body. From now on, Veronica's strength would increase for a few seconds.

    'Victory Fist.'

    Theodore wasn't the only one who had grown over the last five years. Veronica had gotten to know her weaknesses and gained some knowledge in other fields, including martial arts.

    Jeeeong! The sudden blow hit King Hodae's body. The attack was unexpected, and the power was ridiculous. King Hodae stopped breathing for a moment as his body stiffened in the air. As he lost control of the wind, his unprotected body caught Sylvia's waiting eyes.

    "I call the guide of permanent frost!" Sylvia called out, and cold gathered around the end of the large staff that was the remains of Blundell. It was a cold that could freeze wind, water, and even fire. Now, the greatest attack spell that Sylvia could use was unleashed. "Absolute Zero!"

    Absolute Zero's pale light wrapped around the tiger king's body.

    Jjejeok. Jjejejeok...!

    Freeze... It didn't care about the magic resistance of a divine creature as the cold captured the body. Absolute Zero perfectly entered the gap caused by Veronica's attack. The tiger king couldn't resist the overwhelming strength, and the wind couldn't melt the frozen body.

    Veronica also saw it.

    "Suuuuop―" She opened her mouth toward King Hodae, who was sucking in all the air around him. Veronica was trying to use her second breath today. No matter how strong a variant, he would be dead when hit with these type of attacks in succession. Veronica intended to destroy him completely.

    Kakiing.

    However, at this moment, someone interfered.

    "What?" Veronica cried out in shock as she narrowly avoided the blade aimed at her.  It wasn't because it was an aura blade. Just like there was a variant wielding the power of a sacred creature, there wasn't a big difference when dealing with a variant using the power of a sword master. However, the two magicians felt shocked because the person who prevented the end of King Hodae was a well-known person.

    "Lord of Hyungkang Castle, Wichung! Why are you doing this?"

    Wichung didn't respond to Veronica's question that was filled with surprise and anger. No, it was more accurate to say that he couldn't answer.

    "...Red Tower Master, look at his eyes."

    "Eyes?" Veronica looked at the eyes as soon as Sylvia spoke and gasped.

    Wichung's eyes looked cloudy and lost! As a magician, Veronica figured out the reason and muttered, "Mind control? They managed to do it on a sword master?"

    The mental defense of a sword master was stronger than imagined. Unlike magicians, sword masters were monsters who dedicated their lives to training their bodies and minds, and achieved their own accomplishments. If they were killed and turned into a death knight, a force equivalent to a transcendent was needed to control them.

    The two magicians looked at each other in alarm and realized all the noise around them had stopped.

    "Stopped... moving?"

    The variants, soldiers, and all living creatures had stopped, but time hadn't stopped. Their breathing and pulses were normal. The beings who were killing each other just a few minutes ago were now standing idly. Everything in Hyungkang Castle seemed to have become puppets of someone.

    "―Huhuhu, I'm a bit late." The silence was cut off as a voice seemed to melt their ears. "If I was a bit later, I would've lost an important chess piece. You are more active than I thought."

    'Don't look back.' As horror that was beyond fear froze her spine, Veronica turned in the direction Sylvia was facing.

    Then she could see it. "―Ah."

    All reason melted down. Despite being a woman, she couldn't resist the beauty. Pleasure emerged in Veronica just by touching her with her eyes, and Veronica was willing to lick her feet if that was what it took. She was going crazy. An endless madness eroded her head. This was a being that humans shouldn't face. It was one of the Seven Sins grimoires that Theodore had warned her about before.

    Crunch. Veronica's molars broke. There was a sharp pain as soon as Veronica remembered Theodore, and she regained her sanity.

    "Hah! Hah!"

    It was risky. She had been only a few seconds away from becoming a slave to that fascination. Veronica looked at the ground to avoid 'her' and focused her attention on the 'string' inside her body. As long as the agreement existed, her soul belonged to Theodore. Lust's mythical fascination couldn't overpower this.

    "Oh, my, not bad. To be able to see me and endure, even if you aren't gay... What a great person."

    "Y-You, are you, Lust?"

    "Yes, did you hear about me from Gluttony's owner? Then I'll have you talk with me a bit more." Lust had on a relaxed smile that prevented the eyes from moving away. Every gesture of hers showed a deadly attraction.

    While Veronica was stiff, little cracks appeared on the frozen body of the tiger king.

    Kakakang!

    He shook off the ice and was restored to his original state.

    '...Checkmate. My side has lost,' Veronica thought in despair.

    According to Theodore's explanation, Lust had no direct combat ability. It meant she could kill Lust if she endured that fearsome attraction. However, was it possible to break through King Hodae and Wichung? The odds didn't exceed 30%, even in draconic mode.

    "Stop trying, passionate guest." Lust smiled and pointed beside Veronica. "Your friend doesn't want it either."

    "Ah." Veronica looked around and saw Sylvia's blurred eyes. Sylvia was weaker than her and didn't have the contract with Theodore, so this result was natural. Could she kill Lust through all the soldiers, variants, two masters, and a sacred creature?

    'Of course, it is impossible.'

    Thus, Veronica quickly made a decision.

    "Haaaap!" Her body burned. Scales rose, her blood boiled, and a pair of horns sprouted through her hair. Her draconic mode came quicker than before! It happened before King Hodae or Sylvia could do anything to stop it. Heat emerged from Veronica's back as she rushed away from the castle at a tremendous speed.

    "...Wise. Escaping because she can't win. It is efficient," Lust said, watching the sky with dull eyes. Then she said to King Hodae, "I will trust you. Catch and even kill her. There are plenty of red dragon samples."

    [Yes.] The faithful servant, King Hodae rushed out of the castle using the wind. He left in the exact direction that Veronica had disappeared in. Then Lust reached out and touched the jaw of the blankly staring Sylvia. She had risked moving for a reason.

    "...I've received an unexpected windfall."

    This could be used as a means of inducing that 'man' and would be a useful tool as a vessel. The beautiful woman chuckled as she thought of some evil plans. It wouldn't be long before the completion of the final project.
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