Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 31

Chapter 31: The Troll King Katak (3)

“Kwarararara!”

A dragon, covered in white scales, forcefully exhaled from the depths of its lungs. Unlike the massive dragons one might imagine, this smaller dragon, barely over five meters long, began to freeze the trolls in their tracks as its breath, mixed with mana, touched them.

Crackle!

“Kuwaaaak!”

“Kraaak!”

As their bodies began to freeze, the trolls screamed out. Their skin suffered frostbite, turning black and dying rapidly, and their muscles stiffened to the point of petrification.

Seeing the trolls immobilized, the dragon took a moment to catch its breath and sighed in relief. But this respite was only temporary.

“Kworeeeer!”

Crash!

The trolls, unable to move due to the dragon’s frost breath, resorted to a brute force method to break free from the icy restraint.

“Kkhyeoeeuk!”

The trolls, like shattering glass, broke free from their frozen state, writhing in pain on the ground before quickly recovering and charging back into battle with a menacing ferocity.

Unable to continue breathing on the trolls as they engaged the hunters in close combat, the dragon refrained from using its breath to avoid ensnaring any hunters. Instead, it awkwardly tried to swing its tail or kick at the trolls.

[The dragon doesn’t breathe.]

[That’s not a dragon, but it’s true it isn’t breathing.]

[Too weak and small to be a dragon.]

[We can kill that thing.]

A few trolls turned and used their skills to charge toward Maeng Yuna, who had transformed into a dragon using her Half-Dragon (半人半龍) hidden class skill. Although transformed, Maeng Yuna’s primary role, whether before or after transformation, remained that of a mage.

Unequipped for physical combat in her dragon form, she attempted to stamp on the trolls awkwardly, like squashing bugs.

However, not yet accustomed to the dragon’s body, she stumbled, allowing four trolls to cling to her legs.

[Rip it apart!]

The trolls, with intent to break her legs, started pounding on them with their fists when smashing them proved more difficult than expected.

Kaayaaang!

Her leg, sturdy as a pillar, broke under the trolls’ fists, and Maeng Yuna let out a painful roar.

[Got it!]

[The dragon is precious. If the king hears of this, he’ll want it all to himself. Let’s eat it ourselves!]

A troll, armed with an axe, gripped it with both hands and raised it high to chop off Maeng Yuna’s leg.

Maeng Yuna tried desperately to flee, but more trolls joined in, gripping her legs, making escape impossible.

Keeeeeng!

A cry of terror erupted just as the axe was about to come down on her leg.

Suddenly, a figure charged at the troll with a shoulder tackle, sending it flying.

[Kukcoak!]

The troll, bones crushed, screamed as it was flung away while the newcomer blocked the others.

The trolls, startled by the sudden appearance of the new hunter, were shocked further by his appearance.

[It’s a dragon but also human!]

[No! It’s a human but also a dragon!]

In the midst of their heated arguments, Han Siyeon, also a hidden class Dragoman (龍人), rushed at the arguing trolls using her Dragon Claw (龍爪) skill.

Mana concentrated at the tips of Han Siyeon’s fingers, hardening into long claws.

As she spread her fingers wide and slashed, the trolls she struck were either cut deeply or had their muscles sliced open, exposing their bones.

While Han Siyeon dealt with three trolls at once, the human-returned Maeng Yuna collapsed, groaning in pain.

“Ah, ahh.”

Tears of pain and fear streamed down her face as she looked at her leg, gruesomely wounded with bone fragments piercing through her skin and causing an open fracture.

“Hyuk, hap, heup, heuk, heugh!”

Seeing her body horribly injured for the first time, Maeng Yuna started hyperventilating.

But as the frenzied battle raged within the fortress, others, too busy saving their own lives or fighting, could not attend to her.

Krruk

A foreboding noise made Maeng Yuna tremble and look up to see a troll, eyes wide, approaching as it recognized her vulnerable state.

“Ah, aah, a.”

Seeing her terror-stricken face, the troll appeared thrilled at the prospect of an easy prey.

“Live! Heugh, heugh!”

She wanted to scream for help, but her hyperventilation made even that impossible.

Just as the troll charged towards her, an arrow pierced its temple.

Pop!

A moment later, the arrow exploded, scattering the troll’s head in pieces.

From a distance, Bae Deokho, who had taken down the attacking troll with an [Exploding Arrow], groaned in pain.

“Eugh. Jiye really did a great job treating….”

As a key combatant, he had been treated by several hunters with healing abilities, but his wounds had not yet fully healed.

Having never been seriously injured before, and accustomed to being almost completely restored by Kang Jiye, Bae Deokho was unprepared for the slow recovery.

Wrapped in white bandages, he realized that pulling the bowstring could worsen his injuries due to the pressure, so he reluctantly lowered his bow.

Though his mana had not recovered, Baek Deok-ho found himself unable to freely use [Exploding Arrow] in his current state. It might well have been the last of his mana he had managed to muster. Even though he couldn’t shoot his bow, Baek Deok-ho focused on what he could do in the situation.

“Hyaaah!” he bellowed as he dashed forward. Utilizing the physical abilities of an S-class hunter, he swiftly reached Maeng Yu-na’s side. She was gasping for air on the ground due to hyperventilation. Baek Deok-ho scooped her up in his arms and dashed towards the healers, the awakened hunters who could treat her. However, en route, a troll suddenly blocked his path, locking eyes with him, clearly targeting his impaired mobility.

“Damn!” Unable to draw his bow and arrows while carrying Maeng Yu-na, Baek Deok-ho gritted his teeth, planning to dodge the looming attack. The troll raised its arm for a strike. Someone streaked past like the wind, and the troll’s head cascaded from its shoulders like a leaf in the breeze.

“…You’re here!” Baek Deok-ho realized who had intervened and continued his mad dash. Though a spear flew menacingly toward him, having spotted Yi Yurim earlier, he didn’t stop despite the lethal threat. He used the skill, Shock Reflection.

Kim Ho-myung, wielding a shield, took the incoming spear head-on. Having hunted together before, he used the ‘Shock Reflection’ he had acquired, causing the spear hitting his shield to be redirected precisely where he intended.

“Kugh!” The troll, pierced through the throat by its own weapon, struggled futilely to remove the spear, while Yi Yurim, with the passive skill [Body of the Wind], gracefully sliced through the troll’s neck as she passed by.

Wi Dae-han, a Warlord and guild leader of the Great Dai Guild, used his skill to assist other hunters with combat support magic, keenly watching the surroundings. Initially fearful, the hunters were now fighting with a life-or-death determination, gradually overcoming the fearsome trolls.

“Ha, haha. Good! Good!” Hope sparked in Wi Dae-han’s eyes. “This means we can even take down the boss!”

Although he had never seen the boss, viewing his fellow hunters banding together to sequentially defeat the intimidating trolls, Wi Dae-han swung his hammer, his primary weapon.

* * *

[This is ridiculous.] From a distance, Katagu watched the fort’s interior with a dumbfounded expression. Inside, the exact opposite of what he had anticipated was unfolding. [To think they’re risking their lives fighting the mere decoys I sent, and not even overwhelmingly winning, but merely holding their ground?]

Katagu had never underestimated the hunters. Initially, based on reports from his subordinates, he had sent his elite trolls, thinking to sweep through what he assumed was a ragtag bunch. However, noting the surprisingly potent archer, Baek Deok-ho, Katagu had revised his plans, meticulously strategizing to eliminate a potentially unexpected factor.

Now, seeing how the scenario was unfolding, he wondered if it had been necessary. [All this… for such a trivial outcome?]

Frustration filled Katagu’s face as he regarded the ten hunters he had taken as hostages, destined for sacrifice.

“….!” The hunters trembled under the murderous intent emanating from Katagu’s eyes. Tortured in ways unimaginable in modern human society and poorly fed during their captivity, the hunters were in a dire state, clothed in filth-ridden rags and so thin their ribs were showing. Among them, the guild leader of the strongest guild, who had initially resisted Katagu, was now barely lucid.

[Enough. There’s nothing more to see.] Enjoying clashing against the strongest opponents, Katagu lost interest as his excitement waned, his eyes turning cold as he surveyed the fort.

Though his spirits were dampened by disappointment, he remembered Baek Deok-ho, planning his strongest attack, previously used once before against Baek Deok-ho. With a lifetime of training behind him, Katagu pulled back his fist, his legs and waist rotating to channel the mana in his body into his arm, and threw a punch straight forward.

[Ilgakpacheon (One Punch Shattering Heaven)]

Kuwawawawa- The punch compressed the air to its limit, and when the air’s resistance could no longer counter the force of the blow, it exploded outward in a circle.

Paaaah-! The sound, like that of a jet at top speed, heralded Katagu’s full-powered Ilgakpacheon tearing through the rocky cliffs towards the fort where hunters and trolls battled.

* * *

Paaaah-! Everyone turned towards the loud roar approaching the fort, their faces etched with horror. An attack that seemed to tear through space itself was hurtling towards the fortress.

“What is that-!” Both hunters and trolls screamed in despair. As they stood, the ground beneath them darkened rapidly.

Hunters with particularly sensitive senses were the first to notice the earth darkening. Before any other hunters could realize what was happening, the ground erupted like a volcanic eruption, bones spurting forth.

Takatakatak, click clack. The bones emerging made strange noises, interlocking to form a wall of bone.

“…Boss-!” Baek Deok-ho shouted, turning to look where Gang Sah-hu was. Sitting on a bone throne, projecting blue and green lights upward like horns from his eyes, Gang Sah-hu looked upon the fortress with a calm, contemptuous gaze.



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