I Obtained a mythic Item Chapter 217

I Obtained a Mythic Item

Episode 216: Nidhogg (3)

[This is the first one.]

Clang!

Jae-hyun’s brows furrowed at the rough explosion that accompanied the voice. Then, threads of magical power emanated from his hand, slicing through the boundary of the field, dividing it into several segments. It was a skill that interfered with enemy magic, nullifying it—this was one of Jae-hyun’s specialties.

-The active skill [Absolute Calculation] is activated.

Magic shards shattered like glass, scattering around Jae-hyun and throwing his hair into disarray. Tranquility settled on his flowing black locks.

“Haah…”

Jae-hyun calmly regulated his breathing, reflecting on his situation. ‘I can’t use Absolute Calculation anymore. Magical power is limited.’

Nidhogg’s breath had become much more powerful than the first time he encountered it. As a result, Jae-hyun found himself in a situation where he had to revise parts of his plan. The first breath of Nidhogg was merely the power of the second stage of divine liberation. However, the one that had just come flying toward him was as mighty as the third stage.

Jae-hyun felt his hands tremble at the magic he had never experienced before. Now, inevitably, Jae-hyun had to use his wits to counter the remaining two attacks. It was impossible to resist the creature’s assaults with physical defense alone. From now on, he had to find the best course of action and engage in battle.

[You’ve blocked the first one in a conventional way. But relying too much on that skill wouldn’t be wise.]

Nidhogg seemed elated as it spoke and clenched its enormous claw. It wore an expression that could hardly bear the joy of battle.

Jae-hyun furrowed his brows in response. “What do you mean?”

[Your Absolute Calculation is a magic that forcibly dissipates other magic, which means it has a significant drawback: it consumes too much magical power, as you’re doing now.]

‘…He noticed, after all.’

Nidhogg had realized that Jae-hyun could no longer use Absolute Calculation. He was on to him.

[Keep this in mind. Absolute Calculation may work against weaker foes, but it’s not very efficient when fighting mythic beings. Even if it were Odin, the amount of magical power an individual can wield is limited.]

Nidhogg readied another breath, not granting a moment’s pause for the second attack, which was even stronger.

He laughed.

[Now, for the second one.]

Another breath burst forth from Nidhogg, similar to the first. However, it was a clearly different situation from the surprise attack earlier.

Before the next attack could follow, Jae-hyun had ample time to ponder. Also, he had already figured out how to block the next attack.

Whoosh!

The breath, tainted with impurities of poison, rapidly closed the distance to Jae-hyun. He immediately summoned magical power, ready to block the enemy’s breath with all the might he could muster.

[Idiot! The magic power is too immense for you to block!]

“You’ll only know if you try.”

Jae-hyun replied with a smile.

Ziiing!

At that moment, the earth near the spring of Hvergelmir trembled with the sudden surge of a colossal magical force, and the water’s surface rippled. From its depths rose a massive column of water under immense pressure, which collided to create a fierce whirlpool.

-The artifact [Essence of the Sea] is activated.

The newly formed whirlpool expanded and converged into one spot. The water particles condensed before Jae-hyun’s eyes, forming a defensive circle as though to protect him.

[This can’t be…!]

Nidhogg gasped as the whirlpool collided with the dragon’s breath, and a massive explosion ensued.

Swoosh!

As the explosive noise cleared, water shot up to the ceiling, then rained down like a curtain of steam, partially obscuring vision.

Nidhogg looked at Jae-hyun with astonishment. ‘The adversary. Has he been intending to use the lake’s water from the start? Knowing that water attribute attacks are effective against poison breath?’

It was difficult for anyone to read the field’s situation in an instant and implement it through magic. However, the adversary before him had done it masterfully, surging towards the dragon’s powerful attack without flinching.

Interest in Jae-hyun grew inside Nidhogg as he prepared the final breath. A sense of rivalry awakened in his eyes as he burned with fervor toward the adversary before him.

At that moment, Jae-hyun spoke with a smile. “Is there only one left?”

* * *

‘I’ll load the last breath with even more power, instilling frustration in the adversary! To make them feel the helplessness before an overwhelming strength!’

That’s what Nidhogg thought as he watched Jae-hyun, his own blood boiling from the shocking counter just a moment ago. And the reason he was so intent on checking Jae-hyun was simple.

‘For growth, one needs to experience defeat and frustration.’

Nidhogg wanted to give Jae-hyun a new ordeal. In his mind, Jae-hyun had till now walked the Silk Road, growing stronger by clearing designated quests.

Of course, this was a grave misunderstanding.

Ignorant of the bloody life Jae-hyun had endured, Nidhogg had too hastily come to a conclusion. He had a stubborn side, and he often wouldn’t believe what he hadn’t seen with his own eyes.

Therefore, due to a minor misunderstanding, Nidhogg decided to test the adversary.

The condition of the quest given by Idun to the adversary was his recognition.

As originally promised, he shouldn’t release power beyond the second stage of divine liberation. That had been the deal from the start, after all, even before Idun and other anti-Aesir deities had discussed it.

However, after facing the adversary, he changed his mind, fired up by the combat and wanting to acknowledge Jae-hyun’s worth firsthand.

‘To experience defeat. By doing so, I can gauge the adversary’s capacity.’

That was Nidhogg’s conclusion.

Meanwhile, Jae-hyun remained composed. He needed to think carefully about blocking the last breath. The difference between humans and dragons was as vast as heaven and earth.

No matter how much Jae-hyun grew wings, it was impossible to truly confront a dragon head-on.

And thus.

‘I’ll find another way to block it. That’s all there is to it.’

[It’s the last attack. Are you trembling?]

“Just a little.”

Jae-hyun replied, then took a deep breath. Fortunately, there was no ambush this time for the final attack. But Nidhogg was getting ready for a breath more potent than before.

“……I’ve been feeling it since earlier……the breath is getting stronger. There was no talk of that when we started the bet.”

[It’s fine. You seem worried I might get tired.]

Nidhogg joked at a critical moment, realizing too late that his mockery was misplaced when he saw Jae-hyun’s brows contort fiercely.

[…Ahem. Anyway, do your best to withstand the last. By the way.]

With that casual remark, Nidhogg finished preparing to shoot out the breath.

At that instant, the [Essence of the Sea] that Jae-hyun was using suddenly dimmed.

The control over the lake’s water was disrupted as if a seal had been placed upon it. Nidhogg had dispersed the magical power.

Nidhogg smirked.

[You won’t be fooled by the same trick twice. Now you can’t use the water. What about now? Are you going to give up?]

“No. I never thought the same trick would work twice.”

Whoosh!

Just then, the dragon’s mouth gaped wide open.

At last, the ultimate breath flared and soared towards Jae-hyun.

But somehow, Jae-hyun had neither the intention to dodge nor was he perturbed by the oncoming breath; he was fervently continuing his thoughts.

‘Nidhogg’s breath is strong. An attack at the third stage of divine liberation. I can’t block it with my current strength.’

But he had to block it.

‘How can I stop his attack?’

Nidhogg’s magic he was witnessing surpassed everything he had seen before.

Jae-hyun steadied his breathing, staring at the purple flames slowly billowing out.

– Warning! The magic is of much higher grade than the user’s level.

– Please disengage from combat immediately!

Nidhogg’s magic boasted an overwhelming presence that even the system warned against. It was a different power from Fafnir’s, which had lost a significant portion of its caliber.

However.

‘I must find it. A way to block the breath. Nidhogg wouldn’t give me a trial I can’t overcome.

There’s always an answer. I just haven’t found it yet.’

Crunch!

“Jae-hyun!”

Papi’s and Hela’s urgent voices sounded, but they didn’t reach Jae-hyun. Then, as his thoughts accelerated to their limit, all surrounding objects seemed to stop, flowing slowly in time.

The dragon’s breath surged from its open maw, burning up all the magical power around it as it approached.

Slowly, yet clearly.

And despite this, Jae-hyun continued his train of thoughts.

For a brief moment, time passed like an arrow.

The breath was barely 2 meters away from touching Jae-hyun’s body.

Watching this, Nidhogg clicked his tongue.

‘The adversary… Has he lost his mind? Even if I regulated my strength, it’s still the power of the divine liberation’s third stage.

If he’s hit by that, he won’t rise for at least three days…’

It wasn’t a breath meant to be dodged if the intention from the start was to flee. Nidhogg was convinced that realizing powerlessness and running away would lead to Jae-hyun’s growth.

But Jae-hyun didn’t move as expected.

He just stood still, as if contemplating the beautiful flames that could blind his vision with their bright light.

In the midst of the shining flames, the silent Jae-hyun finally smiled.

‘I’ve got it now. Magic is a continuous system of language. Power is exercised within that flow.

And that means, if you sever the chain of language, the magic becomes powerless.’

As he realized his thoughts, Jae-hyun lifted his head and put strength into the dragon’s fang he was holding.

‘That means.’

Time sped up once more.

His ears cleared, and the surrounding noise buzzed in his eardrums.

Jae-hyun’s eyes snapped open just as the breath reached him, and his gaze was suffused with a radiant gold light.

Beyond those eyes, which shone even brighter than before.

Jae-hyun could see it.

Nidhogg’s breath was like a tangled ball of yarn, connected by countless lines of magical power.

And he saw it.

The subtle gap that faintly appeared between the countless lines.

As if recognizing something, Jae-hyun murmured.

‘… Magic is made up of runes, each like a thread, and the activated magic is a ball of yarn.

The letters entangle and form a distinct shape. That’s magic.’

Simultaneously with his thoughts, Jae-hyun recalled a memory from the past.

Back in the mock dungeon.

For the first time, he encountered Odin’s raven, and during that confrontation, he saw the ‘threads of magical power.’

Threads connected to the Kobold Lord, continually infusing it with magical power.

Jae-hyun remembered severing these threads to halt the Kobold Lord’s regeneration.

Therefore, he drew his sword.

‘I was mistaken. I thought magic couldn’t be cut. That was all I believed.

But it wasn’t true. Magic is a continuous flow, a ball of yarn. If you sever the knots, the magic returns to nothingness.’

He laughed maniacally, gripping the machete knife in his hand.

‘Then, with a sword.’

Whoosh!

“Can be cut.”

Leaving a slash so vast it seemed impossible for a dagger, the tooth of Nidhogg sliced from lower left to upper right.

In the midst of held breaths,

The first sound that burst forth was Hela’s cry of astonishment.

“What!”

Jae-hyun held the dagger, precisely bisecting Nidhogg’s breath. She muttered in disbelief at the sight unfolding before her.

“This is impossible. He… cut through Nidhogg’s breath…?”

The breath, hurled as though to swallow Jae-hyun whole, split into two streams and flew past him to pierce the wall.

Boom!

An immense noise erupted, and Jae-hyun, his hand trembling slightly, smiled as he looked at the dagger.

Nidhogg was now gazing down at him in stunned shock.

[… Could you… see the ‘Knots of Magic’?]

Confused by his words, Jae-hyun tilted his head.

“… What? Knots of Magic? What’s that?”

[Madness… Have I ever seen such a thing…]

Dragon’s curses echoed across the empty cavern of Hvergelmir.

That moment, an incoming voice message narrowed Jae-hyun’s eyes.

-The active skill [Absolute Calculation]’s new effects have emerged!



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