Return To Player Chapter 216

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# 216 Hero Devouring (2)

**Chapter 216: Hero Devouring (2)**

The assassins, now a grotesque sight, were not the only ones in shock. Rin, who had executed the technique, was similarly taken aback and couldn’t follow up with another attack right away.

*’So creepy…’*

This was her first time fighting to kill. The tactile sensation of breaking her opponent’s bones almost made Rin retch.

This was nothing like the fighting rings in China.

Even during actual combat, it wasn’t a fight to the death.

It was ultimately a match with established rules.

The overwhelming pressure that if she didn’t kill her opponents, she would be killed, was choking her.

*’I can’t go on like this.’*

With so many more battles ahead, she couldn’t afford to be shaken by something so trivial.

She was tired of being protected.

She wanted to fight alongside her father and her other comrades.

Even Baek Seol, younger than herself, had already fought several times alongside Se-han.

“Damn it, I must kill this woman by any means necessary! She must not meet with Lord Shred!”

The assassins couldn’t back down here either.

They were among the strongest in Petroya, feeling an instinctive urge to prevent Rin from meeting other heroes.

If they failed to stop this, the heroes they served could face ruin.

**Swoosh!**

A black gust of wind blew between the trees in the forest, vanishing without a trace.

Rin caught the light breeze with her nose, and at that moment, sharp-bladed daggers flew towards her.

Ten daggers encircled Rin, aiming for her upper body.

Out from between those daggers, five assassins appeared, swinging their swords towards Rin’s legs.

*’Ten are throwing daggers, and five are attacking directly!’*

To defend against both the ten daggers targeting her upper body and the five swords striking at her legs was nearly impossible.

*’Then…’*

The assassins were experienced and cunning.

But their movements were clear as day to Rin.

Daggers flew at near-sonic speeds, yet in Rin’s eyes, they moved as if in slow motion.

**Clang!**

Rin targeted the ten daggers.

She dodged five with a twist of her upper body, and deflected the other five with her sword.

“What lunacy!”

The daggers repelled by Rin’s sword flew back towards the assassins who were attacking from below.

She aimed not for their shoulders or torsos but straight for their heads.

The attackers couldn’t react in time if they did not stop their advance – the velocity was simply too great.

“Damn it!”

In the end, the five assassins attacking Rin had to cease their assault and retreat.

This movement created a fatal opening.

‘There are fifteen in total.’

Counting the four already downed by Rin’s technique, that made nineteen in all.

Thinking of the number nineteen reminded Rin of one particular technique.

*’Kumwoo Destruction Fist.’*

Rin’s golden eyes shone with light.

Above her head, a ring-like form manifested and an explosive divine energy surged forth.

Channeling the divinity throughout her body, she moved as one entity.

Those were the nineteen stars.

**Thoom!**

Her steps heavy as a bull’s, Rin moved her sword.

“Changseong (昌星).”

A single sword split into nineteen, transforming into a swarm of stars.

Like meteors trailing a smooth path, they rained down upon the retreating assassins.

Changseong was one of Rin’s most advanced techniques.

She could focus all nineteen sword energies on a single target or, as now, distribute them among many simultaneously.

“Arghhhhh!”

The five closest assassins had no chance to dodge the meteoric sword energies.

They raised their swords to block but were cut down along with their weapons.

Even though their swords were infused with divinity and magic, they were split apart like mere paper.

The ten remaining assassins faced grim circumstances. Horrified by the sight of their five comrades being cleaved in half, they halted their defenses in an attempt to evade, but it was not that simple.

The meteor swarm followed a smooth curve targeting their torsos at incredible speed.

“Gahhh!”

The ten were barely able to dodge, each suffering critical injuries. Blood spurted from their waists and shoulders as the assassins flung themselves back as far as they could.

*’Wait. Where did that woman go?’*

In the midst of dodging the sword strikes, they had lost sight of Rin.

By the time they scanned the surroundings, Rin had vanished.

“Damn! That woman has fled…!”

**Swish!**

As the assassin spat curses, his head disappeared.

“What the—what is this?”

The sight of his beheaded comrade felt eerily familiar.

It made sense—it was a scene they had witnessed when they killed their targets.

Silently, as the black gust passed, heads fell.

Their reputation, the direct subordinates of the Wind King Shred, was exactly that.

‘Could it be, that woman!’

Rin’s presence was completely gone.

Only the wind passed through the silent forest.

‘Our technique──!’

Before the thought could complete, the world spun.

His eyes registered his own body collapsing, blood spurting from the severed neck.

***

When I returned to the campsite, it was already a bloodbath.

Rin, her face now pale, looked up at me.

“I’ve taken them all down. Four are still alive… though.”

Her visage seemed as if she might vomit any moment, yet Rin strove to hide it.

It was a commendable sight, yet bittersweet.

*’Even though I was the one who caused this…’*

It was a harsh reality for young Rin to face.

But we needed her.

“Did you learn all their techniques as well?”

“Yes. Probably.”

Rin had made short work of the assassins.

In that brief encounter, she had successfully ‘devoured’ the assassins’ techniques.

*’Now she can even perform assassinations adeptly.’*

These were no ordinary assassins.

Where would one find players with intermediate divine energies so readily? Even in Petroya, they must be among the top-tier players. And these were the assassins. I suspected there wouldn’t be any better ones in Petroya.

“Surely they won’t strike again, right?”

“There shouldn’t be any more. Even if there are, I’ll handle them next time. Rest for now.”

“Really? Wow, I truly thought I was a goner.”

Rin clutched her sword tightly, much like the rabbit doll she used to hug back at the guild.

“Rest easy. I’ll take care of things here.”

After setting up a tent for Rin to rest comfortably, I dealt with the corpses of the assassins.

Approaching the four survivors, I knew the assassins watching me expected Rin to leave these four alive and cleanly finish off anyone else. These four were all that remained.

“Urgh! Just kill me now!”

The broken men, bones shattered, lying like carcasses, bellowed in anger.

“Normal assassins would have taken their own lives before uttering such words, wouldn’t they? But then again, you wouldn’t have expected such a predicament, would you?”

“Damn it…”

It was not anticipated that the highly skilled group of assassins with intermediate divine energies –used for successful assassinations and not expendable– would need to prepare for such a scenario.

“Quiet now. You’ll be guiding me to where your masters are.”

“Ha, haha. I’d rather bite my tongue and…”

Before he could bite down, I landed a punch.

The surprise blow made his head reel.

“Ah-ha-ha.”

With his teeth now smashed, he could only emit air escape sounds.

“Sorry, I can’t understand you.”

“Ha-ooh-ho-ha!”

“It doesn’t matter if I get the information through talking anyway.”

“!!”

His eyes dilated, and as he writhed like a caterpillar, I pressed a finger to his forehead.

“Sleep well. Have sweet dreams.”

Divine energy flowed from my finger into his forehead.

His bulging eyes closed, and he dropped into a deep slumber.

“What have you done…!”

“It’s your turn to do the same.”

I did the same for the other three, not forgetting to break their teeth if they tried to bite their own tongue.

“Now, let’s see what information you’re hiding.”

As it happens, I possessed the power of a foreign deity within me.

And that deity’s nickname was the ‘Witch of Dreams.’

Naturally, entering dreams to read memories was a simple task for me.

***

Teion, the capital city.

The city ruled by the Wind King Shred.

The tall white buildings of Teion made it one of the most beautiful cities in Petroya.

In the highest tower of such a city, Wind King Shred sat with a worried expression.

“……No news yet.”

Even having made contact with the crows was a while ago, and yet there was no word.

Could it be that not a single one escaped alive?

If that were the case, even he, called Wind King, had no chance of victory.

The assassination group he dispatched was carefully nurtured to be the strongest force under him.

‘I did well to send just the assassins first.’

Had he rashly joined them, irreversible damage could have occurred.

The assassins were skilled enough to not let a single one live.

‘I’ll wait and see…’

As Shred pondered what was to come, he suddenly looked up, a chilling feeling washing over him.

“It couldn’t be!”

No, it wasn’t just intuition.

Something was rapidly approaching.

The tower Shred resided in was the tallest in Teion.

In any situation, he believed he could escape simply by fleeing from the tower…

‘But to fly right up to the sky!’

Shred drew the two swords lying beside him and stood.

**Crash!**

Simultaneously, a window shattered, and black feathers fluttered in.

Feathers of a crow.

Shred scowled as he watched the two figures descending amidst the feathers.

A man akin to a crow by reputation, and a girl shining like gold.

The two seen in the city of the Lion King were unmistakenly the same pair.

“The audacity… To step into another’s bedroom uninvited.”

“To hear such a comment from someone who dispatches assassins is rather unpalatable.”

“…..You knew, did you?”

“If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t barge in so rashly.”

The casual banter from Se-han made Shred’s face contort.

‘How could they carelessly divulge information about me?’

Surely they must have gotten hold of some secret method.

His carefully trained assassins wouldn’t give anything up under mere pain.

“Why collaborate with Bango? You resided in wealth and glory. Creating strife in Petroya, seeking its ending, benefits you none.”

“Hmph, none of your concern.”

Shred’s haughtiness was merely a cover for his growing nerves.

If the chance presented itself, he intended to flee.

Without knowing his opponent’s true power, he had no desire to risk combat.

‘There is none faster than me. Even if a deity, none could catch me.’

Thus the title Wind King.

While inferior in raw combat ability compared to other heroes, in sheer speed he was unmatched by any.

Unless it was Hermes, the swiftest god of Earth’s pantheon.

“Lost in thought I see. Planning your escape, I speculate?”

“Why would I do such a thing? I am one of the Seven Heroes, Wind King Shred. Would I act in such a manner?”

“I think you would. Lion King said you’re very cautious and wouldn’t fight alone. That you would immediately flee. Shall I proceed carefully?”

Lion King, damn his unnecessary chatter.

Shred slightly nibbled his lip, breathing out slowly.

If this was the case, rather than waiting for a chance to escape, it’d be better to create one.

“Then… I guess I should act on that advice.”

**Thoom!!**

Shred pivoted without moving from his spot.

**Crackling!**

They were not on solid ground.

But inside a building.

Atop a very tall tower.

With Shred’s movement, the floor fractured like a spider web and crumbled.

In an instant, he vanished toward the ground as if sinking.

‘Take this chance to escape!’

No matter how high his opponent could fly, they wouldn’t pinpoint his location immediately after the fall. Before even touching the floor below, Shred stepped forward.

**Whoosh!!**

Propelled by a kick in thin air, he shot out.

Shred tore through the debris, running out of the tower in a whirlwind-like escape.

But his rapid movement halted soon after.

Shred, attempting to flee to where his comrades were, found Se-han obstructing his path.

“…..What’s this?”

That wasn’t the only oddity.

He should have broken out through a window, yet he was indoors again.

And not just anywhere inside, but the very room his feet had destroyed.

“Lion King warned you, and yet here I am.”

“Cursed crow. What have you done!”

“Didn’t you feel odd before you shattered that window? I made sure you couldn’t escape before I broke in. Did you get a strange feeling?”

“…..!”

Indeed, he had felt it.

Not long after, he sensed a crow rushing toward the tower.

“I can create spaces filled with illusion. I can’t simply drag a higher divine being into it, but fortunately, my divinity is quite high now.”

“The skill of the Witch of Dreams’ inheritance, right?”

“Correct. You knew, yet made no preparations?”

It wasn’t a lack of preparation, but a lack of consideration.

He was too focused on the powers of the Goddess of Justice and the crow to consider the god avatar he possessed.

“Thus, the place you are now, though it looks like a tower, is a space overlaid with my illusion. No matter how fast you run, there’s no escape.”

“…..What do you want from me?”

“What do I want? Nothing special, really.”

Se-han laughed, standing beside…

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