༺ Sun – Claiomh Solais (12) ༻
An oak tree with a height of 10 km was standing tall. Most superhumans would have to slowly climb the tree sitting perpendicular to the ground without the help of a druid, but there were 2 people that were running up the tree.
Unfazed by the situation where they would fall endlessly towards the ground with a single misstep, they sprinted towards the clouds. Kicking off the tree, they jumped higher and higher.
With extreme levels of concentration, the two of them focused on each and every step and their feat of sprinting up the tree appeared like a challenge to the limits of a two-legged animal. But in the midst of all that, their eyes were fixed on one another.
Although they were both heading to the pinnacle, the floating island… they were evidently in very different states.
Korin was running up the enormous oak tree with his bare body, showing off his concentration skills. One misstep would make him fall and lose everything, and he couldn’t even allow a single pause.
In the middle of all that, he also had to deal with Dun Scaith’s attacks.
“Hihit…! You look tired!”
On the other hand, Scaith was extremely relaxed unlike Korin, who had to rely on his skills and concentration to stay up. His legs had turned into the sharp talons of a reptile and allowed him to easily climb the tree.
The legs of a beast were incomparably more flexible than a human’s. Unlike Korin and his desperate and linear dash, Dun Scaith slithered all across the oak tree.
He appeared like a snake climbing a tree.
“Let’s not rush things…!”
Kicking off the tree, Dun Scaith jumped diagonally at Korin. His legs were that of a reptile, while his arms had changed into the head of a snake. The snakes with triangular heads opened their mouths and revealed their venomous fangs.
Korin Lork used his spear to slice apart the venomous snake that was pouncing at him from the front. But that was when another serpent sprung at his ankle from a blind spot.
『 ᚲ 』 — Kenaz. Resonance.
It was then. Flames soared from the tree, startling Dun Scaith who was right next to it.
‘He’s a Rune Mage!’ thought Scaith after seeing the residue of a letter carved on the oak tree.
Dun Scaith wondered when exactly Korin wrote the letter but didn’t think much because it was nothing strange for experienced Rune Mages to be able to write Rune letters at a super rapid speed. Besides, it was even less surprising because Fermack, who had been killed by Korin Lork, had also been a master at Rune Magic.
“Hey. Do you want to see something exciting?”
“Don’t say that…!”
『Undry – Infinite Snakes』
Countless snakes started pouring out from a pit underneath his feet. Even with just a glance, it was possible to tell that there were at least hundreds of snakes there, and their numbers kept going up with every second.
A bunch of snakes slithered across the tree. Korin stopped his feet for a second and used the spear as a scaffold to keep him up while looking around for a way out, but he realized that he was surrounded by waves of snakes from all sides.
“Hoping these guys won’t come out in my dreams.”
Despite saying that, Korin showed no signs of running away. With his spear stuck in the tree, he was leisurely sitting down on it.
“Hihi. Did you give up?”
Dun Scaith chuckled with a vile smile on his face. He smirked as thousands of snakes pounced at Korin.
“Mere souls of lowly beasts are worthless against me.”
That was when the orb engraved into the Silver Spear let out a black wave of mana. A layer of mist immediately spread out to all sides in a radius of 100 meters. The fog didn’t have the power to physically remove the waves of snakes but…
The snakes started falling to the ground at once. Innumerable snakes popping out endlessly like an ocean wave was very unreal, but the sight of thousands of snakes falling at once was just as surreal as that.
“What did you… do?”
“As if I’ll tell you. It’s common sense that you need to put something on the line to find out your enemy’s skills, isn’t it?”
Dun Scaith sent out another wave of snakes. Although thousands had been killed at once, he still had a lot more snakes. In order to see through the opponent’s moves, he gladly sent a large number of the remaining snakes to their death.
Another layer of fog pervaded through the air. More than a thousand snakes had been killed yet again, but this time, the Beast of the Shadow noticed the nature of the skill.
“Hihi, Soul Collector…!”
“That was fast.”
Orb of the Grim Reaper – a treasure that had the power to separate the spirit from the body to collect the soul. It was unknown how he was borrowing the power of the phenomenon of death as a mortal, but regardless, what was important was that that ability was a complete counter to his.
Unlike intellectual beings like humans, beasts and animals didn’t have the power to hold onto their souls because they had less of a sense of self, identity, and desire to survive compared to a human.
Even if there were infinite snakes, each and every one of them still only had the soul of a beast. There was no way they could handle the power of the Grim Reaper, no matter how weakened it may be.
“But let’s see… Do you have enough mana?”
“I could do this all day.”
Because of the backup support of the Precept, right now, Korin had more mana than most Grade 2 mages, but there was more.
“The area around this oak tree is my land. And my land gives out a generous amount of help to everyone inside.”
Hearing that, Scaith realized that oddly enough, mana had been surging out from all around. What he hadn’t noticed until then… was that the mana recovery speed was incredibly higher than usual.
“Don’t tell me…”
Unbeknownst to Scaith, the land around Korin’s tree had become similar to a leyline. After consuming the one and only fertilizer in the world, this land became so abundant with energy that it even managed to grow an oak tree that was tall enough to reach the sky.
So how much mana would there be in the land where that very oak tree had its roots in, after consuming an immeasurable amount of mana?
“It doesn’t matter how many beasts you have. This is my territory that I have grown and created.”
He already had a ridiculous amount of mana thanks to the amplification from his Precept, and supplementing that was the endless supply of mana in the area.
“Indeed, I guess I won’t be able to beat you in my current state.”
Dun Scaith said, before lifting the corners of his lips. His humanoid figure melted down and changed into something else yet again.
Snakes weren’t enough, so he turned into a much… larger, more frightening and powerful colony of a legion.
– Kuduk, kududuk…!
His body expanded and echoed in resonance with the surroundings. He then turned into something gigantic – flesh got intertwined with flesh in an attempt to turn into something much greater.
The Snake of Falga
It was too late for Korin to do anything. The change happened in a flash.
Resulting from the fusion of the citizens of the shaded world was the evil legion of snakes and toads added into one.
The resulting form was that of a massive snake with an overwhelming length. It was literally 1 km long. It was one of the final forms of Dun Scaith alongside the Toad form.
『O… First Spear of the Queen, Korin Lork.』
Resonating across was a wicked voice that sounded totally different from that of a human’s. Meanwhile, the snake wrapped itself around the oak tree and made it tremble.
『Your scent excites me, and I can feel every exhale of yours.』
– Kaduk! Kaduduk!
The oak tree screamed. Branches as well as the trunk got crushed and caved in after being wrapped by the large serpent.
『The Queen locked me in the shadows. She forced me into a tiny cauldron.』
『Alas, the Queen has been exiled and the throne is now empty. Thanks to that, I devoured to my heart’s content a bunch of humans that she had been so wanting to protect. Just like how a wolf would prey on the fenceless sheep.』
The powerful voice of Dun Scaith quaked the tree and the air.
『Those filthy usurpers of the world. Those damn rats. I will eat up every human alive along with the flesh of the last queen of this land, Erin Danua.』
“Who says you can?”
Despite facing a large mythological creature, a large snake hissing its tongue from the shadows, Korin stayed firm.
“Also. Who told you you can stretch your body like that?”
“As I’ve said, this land I am standing on, and every foothold going all the way up to the sky is a part of my land.”
Standing on the Silver Spear, he gazed at the evil snake with his orange eyes. Rather than a hero standing off against their foe in a myth, he sounded and looked more like the lord of a city, arrogantly sentencing a trespasser.
『What do you…』
“You deserve punishment for entering another person’s house with your shoes on…!”
The Silver Spear quivered.
It was the most simple feature of the Silver Spear, which at the same time led to the strongest Rune Spell possible.
Kenaz, Sowilo, Berkana.
All the runes that he had been diligently carving onto the tree ever since he started climbing it were activated all at once with the support of the abundant mana in the area.
The soaring flames and the level of heat immediately changed from that of a campfire to lava, and began scorching the entire tree.
Scaith had been wrapping his body around the oak tree and squeezing it so naturally, the terrifying heat began to scorch the leather all around his body.
『YOU BASTARRDDD…! HAVE YOU GONE MAD!?』
However, the flames weren’t targeting Scaith alone and they were burning the land proclaimed by the lord as well as the lord of the city himself. It was a massive disaster.
“Don’t worry. You’ll die before I do.”
Korin had already put his life on the line. Since his life had always been at risk ever since he started climbing this tree, he poured oil and threw a lighter to put both of their lives at risk.
“Chase me to the sky if you want to live!”
Despite being enveloped in flames, Korin Lork stepped on the burning oak tree and raced towards the sky, after speeding past Dun Scaith.
『It is a huge misunderstanding if you think this is my only form…!』
Scaith’s body underwent another shift. His long body contracted; wings popped out of his back and his legs protruded out to become longer than before.
His massive wings were large enough to cover the skies once open and each of its flutters created a tempest.
Chasing after the dashing Korin Lork, the dragon flapped its wings. They went higher and higher and were just about to reach the sky once again.
Dun Scaith soared up after crushing through the floating island. Breaking through the middle of the two swordsmen and their battle to death, the dragon opened its wings out wide.
A mythical and legendary creature, dragon.
It wasn’t an overstatement to call it one of the grand final forms of Dun Scaith, and despite having a bunch of animals inside, he still only had three dragon lives.
『I am the snake whispering in the shaded darkness; a toad swallowing the reflected solace of light…! I am the shadow of this world…!』
Out of every animal under his command, it was the most violent and arrogant form. The dragon looked down on the world with the concealed sun behind its back.
Standing before its gaze was a feeble human with nothing but one spear. And yet…
“Huu… It’s doable.”
The man still confronted the monster.
In spite of standing in front of a literal disaster that humans shouldn’t be able to do anything against, the spearman waited for a chance to strike back.
『Not bad for a mere human.』
The dignified voice of the dragon echoed from above, as it continued gazing down at the spearman pointing his spear.
“Time to end it.”
Six Ways of the Spear,
Sixth Style, Shura.
That was the last resort skill of Korin Lork. Bursting forth every aura residing in his body, he used the finisher move that would transition all of his aura into power and speed until its depletion.
Taking out a deep breath, he lowered his back and liberated the power lying dormant in his third Aura Core.
“First Demonic Spear, Darkness.”
The black demonic spear began giving off an ominous and chilly aura. It was different from the last time he used it; thanks to the acquisition of ‘Demonic Aura Release’, he was able to easily accumulate a tremendous amount of aura inside the spear.
His spear was bound to be able to harm that heavenly dragon.
The dragon attacked first with a tornado created by its wings, followed by a blazing breath. In the blink of an eye, however, Korin disappeared from sight.
It was an explosive jump that even the dragon couldn’t keep track of. By the time the dragon realized it, the spearman was already in the air.
Jumping into the face of the dragon, the spearman thrusted his spear. It had definitely caught it off guard, thought Korin, but right as the spear was about to pierce through the dragon… Dun Scaith returned to his human form with just the minimized form of a dragon’s wings.
Scaith reached his ‘arm’ out. The mouth of a large snake replacing his hand crunched into the spearman’s shoulder, who became momentarily defenseless after missing his attack.
By immediately rotating his spear, Korin sliced the neck of the snake biting into his shoulder. While falling onto the ground of the floating island, he saw something.
“You know what? The Solar Eclipse isn’t over yet,” said Dun Scaith while reaching out with his other hand. In that hand were the red fruits of the rowan tree.
Within the darkness was a fair amount of Yin aura, which had naturally bloomed from the reduced aura of Yang due to the weakened Sun. The rowan fruit immediately started sucking the aura of Yin and… turned into a sapling.
Falling down while bleeding from his shoulder, Korin saw it. A tree emerged out with Scaith at its core. It grew at an absurd speed, reached the Sun and…
– Kaduk! Kadududuk…!
It started crushing the Sun. The rowan tree soon swallowed Claiomh Solais, which was under the disguise of the Sun.
“Hihi. So this is the Sun that Dum had been talking about!”
After laying his hands on Claiomh Solais, the Sun, he landed back down on the ground and went through another metamorphosis.
From a snake, to a toad and a dragon to… the final shadow, a black bull.
Korin Lork squinted his eyes.
It would have been better if Dun Scaith had chosen the dragon form. Because Korin knew the power of the Sun, he had been wanting to avoid the worst-case scenario of going against ‘that form’.
In front of Korin’s eyes was a large and muscular humanoid figure with the head of a bull, and its 2-meter-tall body was covered with a lustrous black mane.
It looked like a minotaur from the Greek myth, but this one here was the black bull of the great ocean; the king of all bulls.
A countless number of snakes; enough toads to fill a whole mansion; three furious dragons and three bulls with the power of magic.
That was what Dun Scaith was – a combined legion of the beasts of shaded darkness; monsters that were sealed in hell.
And in his hand was the Sword of the Sun, Claiomh Solais.
“…To think I have to go against the Sun twice. I must be very unlucky.”
That was the treasure that used to belong to one of the King’s subjects, Eochaid Bres. The greatsword breathing out flames scorched the air nearby and oozed out a horrifying haze of heat.
Korin collected his breath. Unlike him who was restraining himself and saving his breath, Dun Scaith erupted with an overflowing amount of fighting spirit.
The roar of the King of Beasts soared all the way into the skies. It marked the true beginning of the battle.
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- 1AI made