Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 30

Episode 30: The Troll King Katak (2)

As one troll dissolved into nothingness amidst the battle, the remaining nine trolls were also fiercely fighting against Gang Sah-hu’s summoned beasts.

Growl!

Screech! Screech!

The giant hound, the corpse-eating ape, and the vampiric ape surrounded the trolls and began to tear into them. Due to the capability of the devouring spirit, their craving for flesh kicked in, and they gnawed with a speed resembling a woodpecker tapping into a tree.

ROAR!

Hearing the trolls’ screams from atop the cliff, veins bulged on Katak’s forehead.

“Useless bastards.”

Katak clicked his tongue and pulled his fist back over his shoulder. The tattoo engraved on his body glowed in response to his rage.

Then, he swung his fist forward, muttering,

“Strike that Breaks the Heavens.”

BOOM!

With a single punch, the cliff where the summoned creatures and Bae Deok-ho were standing shattered into pieces.

* * *

“Cough!”

Bae Deok-ho coughed as he snapped open his eyes.

Was he knocked out?

How much time had passed?

Had the trolls come closer?

Quickly assessing the situation, Bae Deok-ho realized from the still-falling debris that only a few seconds had passed since he was knocked unconscious.

“Damn monster…!”

Though he wasn’t sure how, a single punch had destroyed the cliff and felled many of the summoned beasts.

Worrying whether they might be dead, he checked on the summonses and found most were on the brink of death. Their forms, nearly nothing left but their necks and collarbones, dissolved into small beads.

And then, these beads flew in unison towards a certain direction – towards the fort, Bae Deok-ho realized, relieved to know they were returning to Gang Sah-hu.

“Carry me.”

Bae Deok-ho approached a giant hound and spoke.

Following instructions from Gang Sah-hu, the giant hound calmly sat down, allowing Bae Deok-ho to mount easily.

“Phew—”

Drawing a long breath, he calmed his pounding heart and took hold of an arrow.

“Let’s go.”

Bark!

As Bae Deok-ho patted its back, the giant hound started running.

The distance, instantly closed by Katak’s attack, narrowed once again as Katak came into view, and Bae Deok-ho released the arrow.

SWISH!

The arrow, flying like it exploded the air, was intercepted by an elite troll who stood by Katak, glowing from his tattoo.

“Kuwaa!”

CRASH!

The arrowhead, despite striking as hard as steel, shattered against the elite troll’s tough skin.

The elite troll sneered as if amused, but Bae Deok-ho grinned back.

Using the skill, Exploding Arrow.

BOOM!

The skill, infused with an S-rank Hunter’s full mana, was anything but weak.

As the dust cloud lifted, the elite troll who had crossed his arms in an X-shape to protect his front looked taken aback at Bae Deok-ho. His tough skin turned into tatters under the skill’s potency.

“That did it.”

Bae Deok-ho’s lips curled into a smirk, but his smile quickly faded. Within seconds, broken bones fused back together, flesh regenerated, and the elite troll’s skin renewed, staring back at him, good as new.

“…Hah.”

Overwhelmed by the grotesque regeneration, a sense of futility flashed across his face.

“…Captain, are we really able to take down such monsters…?”

Bae Deok-ho muttered despondently.

Now, not just ordinary trolls but two elite trolls were climbing the cliff to reach him.

As he saw the approaching elite trolls, Bae Deok-ho pondered,

Can I really beat them?

It’s impossible.

They might have managed to kill these two after an arduous fight with the summoned beasts and himself going all out.

Then, it might be time to retreat and prepare for the final showdown.

“Let’s go!”

Bark!

Before departing, remembering that his role was merely to delay them, and the real defensive fight would take place near the fort with all the hunters, he chose to flee without hesitation.

However, he also used his remaining skill to shoot ten arrows enhanced with the Exploding Arrow skill to hinder the trolls’ advance as much as possible.

RUMBLE!

BOOM!

‘Even though these monstrous bosses and the four elite their side won’t take much damage, this should slow down the regular trolls’ advance.’

Knowing fully well that this wouldn’t actually stop them, but hoping to just stall them for a few minutes, Bae Deok-ho left the battleground.

* * *

BOOM…

Listening to the distant sounds of massive explosions, the hunters at the fort swallowed their saliva nervously.

“Did you say that Hunter Bae Deok-ho was ranked B…?”

Guild Master Maeng Yu-na of Dragon Guild had a dazed expression as she watched the cliff crumble and rocks shoot up into the sky from afar.

‘That’s… a B-rank Hunter…?’

Though it seemed as powerful as her, perhaps even more, she felt slightly intimidated.

This sentiment was echoed by other guild hunters around her.

“If we can’t stop them with that, then how are we supposed to stop them…?”

“It’s not just some hollow building; it’s the cliff itself that’s been destroyed…”

While the hunters engaged in heated discussions about the situation, ten explosions ensued, and one side of the cliff collapsed like crumbling Lego.

“…Could it be possible that the trolls were annihilated by that?”

A military hunter asked Lieutenant Han Si-yeon.

Yet shortly after,

A loud boom exploded, scattering the fragments of the collapsed cliff into the air anew.

“Huh, what?!”

“What was that?”

If the previous noises were explosions, the sound that just rang out was akin to a sonic boom from a fighter jet.

As the hunters looked on in stunned silence, a giant hound burst into the fort.

Bark!

“Kyaa!”

“Uaah!”

Startled into a brief panic, the hunters soon realized that it was one of Gang Sah-hu’s summoned beasts.

Bae Deok-ho, who had returned riding the giant hound, dismounted, and then leaped toward the cliff

As he ran up, the hunters who were preparing for battle, with mixed feelings of anticipation and worry, crowded around him.

“Hunter Baedukho, you’ve worked hard. Did you manage to annihilate the trolls?” asked the guild leader of Daehan Guild, Widaehan, urgently.

Baedukho, who initially had a bewildered expression at the question, frowned and shook his head.

“No. I wanted to cause as much damage as possible, and if feasible, eliminate them all. But we only managed to kill about ten trolls.”

A sigh of despair escaped among the hunters upon hearing his answer.

“You’ve worked hard. Please get treated quickly by hunters with healing abilities.”

Seeing how severely he had fought, with rock fragments embedded in his body and blood flowing, and his left arm severely torn, she ordered the military hunters to support Baedukho.

Watching Baedukho leave, she turned her head with a determined expression.

“The trolls will be upon us soon.”

Moans of dread flowed among the hunters at her words.

Sounds of fear and calls for family were heard in the distance, but Han Siyeon, ever the soldier, completely ignored these weaker cries.

“We are not trying to kill all the trolls. Our goal is one thing: to buy as much time as possible until Hunter Gangsahu finishes his preparations,” she declared to the guild leaders.

Her gaze met with that of Mang Yuna, guild leader of Dragon Guild, who possessed the power of the hidden class ‘Half-Human Half-Dragon’, Widaehan, guild leader of Daehan Guild with the power of the hidden class ‘Warlord’, and the acting guild leader from Choi Kang Guild.

Determination blazed in the eyes of the three leaders.

“Hunter Gangsahu requested 30 minutes. Therefore, our task is to hold out for just 30 minutes.”

Although it was uncertain whether Gangsahu’s preparations could annihilate the trolls after those 30 minutes.

She did not voice these grim truths.

What they needed now was not to dwell on impending doom but to cling to the hope of enduring these 30 minutes.

“All of you here are acclaimed hunters of South Korea. So, everyone, just for 30 minutes. Let’s endure during this time.”

Thirty minutes, which normally wouldn’t seem long, now felt different as hunters clenched their eyes shut.

“…Yes, it’s just 30 minutes! Can’t we endure that?”

“There are several A-rank hunters here! It would be shameful if we can’t hold out for just 30 minutes against C-rank gate monsters!”

“Waah!”

The hunters shouted out loud, lifting their weapons high.

Hope sparked in everyone’s eyes drenched previously in fear.

Gazing at this, each guild leader and Han Siyeon shared a faint smile.

However, just as Siyeon turned her head, she spotted Baedukho, who she tried to dismiss from receiving treatments from healing hunters, shouting something, but his voice drowned in the cries of other hunters.

What was he shouting about?

She read his lips intently.

Doom. Is. Coming.

Right after Han Siyeon read his lips, trolls thrown from afar plummeted down from the sky like bombs.

** **

Several hundred meters away from the fortress where the hunters were gathered, Kang Jiye, who was earnestly drawing a magic circle, turned her head towards the fortress.

Confused by the loud sound of cheers, she paused her hand movement briefly when Kangsahu spoke.

“Jiye, focus.”

“Eh? Oh, sorry.”

Kang Jiye, reprimanded by him, refocused and continued to diligently etch runes with stones on the makeshift magic circle, which was rudimentary compared to a standard one, reducing its power but requiring more spiritual energy.

As she turned her head, she saw that the energetic spark returned to Kim Homyeong and Lee Yurim, who now managed the bones more deftly, their previous revulsion significantly lessened.

Just then, a ghastly ape, which had become a devourer by consuming the flesh and bones of trolls, hence gaining strong legs, leapt towards Kangsahu, shrieking.

Kiiieh!

Sensing trouble through his psychic connection with other summoned creatures, Kangsahu’s face hardened.

And his eyes lit up as he saw the soul energy flying back to him.

Using the skill, ‘Soul Energy’.

The recovery speed of soul energy varies depending on the owner’s capability.

As he used mana to execute the skill, soul energy responsive to his will began to manifest the desired ability.

Slowly at first, like walking, but then swiftly gathering in his hands.

‘…No one’s vanished.’

Fortunately, none of the soul energy had been destroyed; it simply returned to him in the form of soul energy as per the capabilities he had set.

“Captain, what’s the matter?”

Lee Yurim, who had been busily assembling bones, walked up to Kangsahu.

Kim Homyeong also sensed that something was wrong by his grim face.

“It seems Mr. Hominyeong and Ms. Yurim need to support near the fortress.”

Just that one sentence was sufficient.

Knowing him well after many operations and understanding his nature, they knew Kangsahu did not waste words or give needless orders.

Responding to Kangsahu’s summons, a massive hound raced towards them and landed before them. Without hesitation, Kim Homyeong and Lee Yurim climbed onto the massive hound’s back.

“Don’t worry. I’ll hold out as best as I can.”

“I’ll be going then, Captain.”

After Kim Homyeung and Lee Yurim said their farewells, the massive hound dashed off.

Seeing the situation, Kang Jiye hurriedly drew the magic circle with stones, but Kangsahu gently grabbed her hand.

“Why, Brother?”

“There’s no time.”

The trolls had begun their assault on the fortress, and the hunters had started defending.

Every second was critical now.

“We need to compress it further.”

At his words, Kang Jiye’s eyes widened.

Seeing those eyes, Kangsahu concluded.

“We’ll begin the final phase now.”



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