Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 187

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Chapter 187: The String That Carries Conviction (1)

Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!

Amidst the urgent footsteps.

Two boss monsters that had remained unseen until now emerged from the sides.

A medium-sized monster roughly 3 meters in size, covered in red scales—the ‘Lizard King’ leading the lizardmen.

And beside it, a black-maned, three-eyed wolf named ‘Black Fang’ appeared.

Both were beast-type demonic creatures, with the ‘Lizard King’ specialized in close-range attacks backed by its massive size, while ‘Black Fang’ prized speed and excelled in group battles.

Each boasted its own strengths, making them no easy targets.

‘Were the other bosses waiting for this moment to reveal themselves?’

In a tense battle, even small variables can have significant impacts.

And if the variable was as big as this, it could completely flip the situation.

“My lord!”

Yeol-yeong hurriedly approached Jin-hyeok.

Clearly, he sensed the danger too.

The two boss monsters were each leading about thirty of their kin, and though their numbers were small, the individual strength of each was extraordinary.

All of them named creatures.

Elite among elites, all enhanced by the ‘Crimson Oath’s Mark’.

Jin-hyeok bit his lip slightly as he observed the weapons in the hands of Lizard King and Black Fang.

He recognized the two holy relics.

‘The Bone of the Burned Giant.’

‘The Branch Drenched in Chaste Blood.’

He understood why they had been biding their time.

They were waiting for these holy relics to be completed.

[‘If you strike the same spot with the Bone of the Burned Giant 10 times, it can destroy the target’s weapon.’]

[‘The wounds inflicted by the Branch Drenched in Chaste Blood do not heal and cause permanent damage to the body (including scars, numbness, decreased function, etc.).’]

[However, each of the holy relics can only be used once.]

One-time-use relics, but with particularly tricky abilities.

Considering each individual already possessed excellent combat skills, the difficulty level would multiply several times with these troublesome relics in play.

‘It was them who were dragging out time.’

Indeed…

These creatures were different than the ones that move on instinct.

Jin-hyeok’s eyes narrowed.

He could already see the monsters swiftly approaching.

They were coming.

And quite fast at that.

Both species leaped simultaneously towards Jin-hyeok.

“Protect our lord!”

Yeol-yeong spread out a wide defensive formation centered around Jin-hyeok, leading the Heukpung-hoe members.

About thirty Heukpung-hoe members moved in perfect coordination.

Clang! Clang!

Blades flashed chaotically.

Speed so rapid it was difficult to follow with the eye.

All that could be seen were the thousands of sparkles blooming in the air.

But even if one tried their best to maintain the formations, it was impossible to overcome the disadvantage in combat power.

That was to be expected.

After all, they were already depleted from battle, now facing new enemies in peak condition.

And then…

[Black Fang activates Lv14 ‘Hunter’s Night!’]

Like a wolf pouncing on its prey.

The steps were so light, they gave no warning.

With a whoosh!

The movement, so swift it seemed to skim across the ground, was impossible to imagine from a beast nearly 3 meters in size.

Too fast to even think of a response.

Spurt! Spurt! Spurt!

Blood sprayed, and a member of Heukpung-hoe, wounded at the neck, fell to his knees.

“Kugh!”

Even amidst all this, his survival was thanks to the extreme training he had undergone.

Of course, that did not imply they could overcome the monster without even managing a response.

At least within the ranks of Heukpung-hoe, there was no one capable of tackling the bosses alone.

Only one exception.

“I will handle this one.”

Excluding Yeol-yeong, who was leading them.

Fzzzt! Fzzzt! Fzzzt!

A dazzling light sparked from the tip of his sword.

The ultimate move, acclaimed as the most superior of all close-range attacks, the ‘Sword Aura’, celebrated for its extreme cutting power.

“Kekang!”

“Kaaang!”

Yeol-yeong instantly sliced through two black-maned wolves.

Their thick skin and fur were of no help at this moment.

The air, filled with a bloody mist, turned red.

“Come.”

The blade tip pointed to Black Fang. It was like signaling that he was the only opponent.

“How dare you harm my children!”

Black Fang roared wildly in anger.

Using a sudden movement to vanish, Black Fang instantly appeared behind Yeol-yeong.

The very skill that had severed the throats of many rivals, ruling the ninth layer.

But then…

Thwack!

No sound of flesh being pierced and bones being crushed could be heard.

Only the sound of clenching teeth echoed unusually loud.

The attack failed.

Where it should have bitten through the neck in one strike.

“…You!”

Black Fang’s eyes bulged with surprise.

Despite perfect timing, it couldn’t believe that not a single wound was inflicted.

Right at that moment.

A chilling voice emerged from beneath Black Fang’s jaw.

“Confident in your speed, aren’t you? You’re not the only one.”

[Yeol-yeong manifests his unique ability ‘Shadow Extreme Kill (陰影亟殺)’.]

A technique utilizing shadows for movement.

If Black Fang’s swift movement was about connecting lines.

Yeol-yeong’s ‘Shadow Extreme Kill’ ability was about leaping from point to point.

Thump!

With the spurting of blood, a cut appeared on Black Fang’s face.

And with that.

Yeol-yeong’s figure once again dissolved into the shadows.

At the same time, Black Fang also sprang into action.

Clash! Boom!

Black shadows moved chaotically, baring their teeth, each trying to pierce the other’s heart.

* * *

‘Black Fang’s side… Yeol-yeong seems to be at an even match.’

The problem was…

Relying solely on Jung-ryungsu and the sweet potato made it difficult to cope with Atasha and the Lizard King.

Jin-hyeok’s hand twitched. If he intervened now, he would provide them with the timing to use the two holy relics.

And that’s precisely what they were waiting for.

‘I mustn’t act rashly and fall into their trap.’

Even knowing their plan, he had no intention of dancing to their tune.

Nor did he plan to fall here.

[Dimensional Inventory activated.]

Jin-hyeok took out the items purchased from the coin exchange.

‘Token of Conviction.’

‘Bay Laurel Leaves of December.’

‘Three Red Gems of Aklantma.’

He had spent all his coins to acquire these, but he didn’t regret it.

From now on, these items would prove their worth.

[Combining 3 items.]

[Time remaining for completion: 00h:02m:59s]

Three minutes required.

Then…

“Melena!”

Jin-hyeok called out to Melena, who was frantically whipping around beside him.

“Pant. Pant. Pant…”

Seemingly exhausted from fighting for survival, Melena responded with labored breathing.

Her face had turned pale, suggesting she had used even the oxygen in her blood to its limit.

“I know it’s tough, but hang in there for three more minutes. I need to play with that chicken over there, so you’ll have to contend with the Lizard King during that time. That’s all the time I need until the item is ready.”

Yeol-yeong could only hold Black Fang to a draw.

And leaving the Lizard King to Jung-ryungsu alone would tip the compatibility unfavorably.

In other words, additional support from someone was needed.

And there was only one person here who could take on that role.

“Three minutes… That’s too long.”

Melena groaned in pain.

It was demanding to hold out for three more minutes on the brink of collapse. It was practically a request to risk her life.

Naturally, Jin-hyeok had anticipated such a reaction.

He casually scratched his chin.

“You know, there’s a ‘Sword Saint’ among our employees who held out for about that long. Surely, the Mine Association, which is filled with veterans from the underworld, wouldn’t be inferior to that, right?”

Oh, come on.

No matter how you cut it, it’s laughable to think that the ‘real’ tough guys, who have evaded the black market, the CIA, and Interpol, would fall short before a mere med student dubbed as a tough cookie.

His brightest smile was extra.

Melena’s face twisted horribly.

As if she had been hit in her most sensitive spot. It was funny to say that a mafia is weaker than an average person.

“I’ll show you why I’m called the ‘Black Cobra’ of Vladivostok.”

In the end, Melena clenched her whip, gathering all her remaining magical energy.

Fwoosh!

Flames danced on the whip, and the moisture around Melena rapidly dried up.

A black cobra in a frigid polar region…

It was puzzling to think who came up with such a codename, but Jin-hyeok spared the critique.

Supporting an employee full of passion was also the boss’s role, after all.

If she delivers results, he was fully prepared to recognize her, regardless of whether she was a rainbow cobra.

That’s the way it goes.

“Then, I’ll trust you with this. Let’s go.”

“Sweet potato!”

The sweet potato spread its wings energetically.

[Sweet potato activates Lv2 ‘Flight’!]

Even the sweet potato, which could barely toddle, now had enough space for a person to climb aboard when its wings were fully outstretched.

A dragon knight may be a stretch, but this should suffice for aerial ground attacks.

Jin-hyeok adjusted his mask and climbed on the sweet potato’s back, firmly grasping the base of its wings to stabilize himself.

Suddenly, his body bounced up and down as if on a trampoline.

Whoosh!

The sweet potato took off into the air.

‘Incredible…’

Jin-hyeok swallowed dryly.

Despite having ridden many mounts, such smooth and elegant flight was a first.

‘And it’s not even an adult yet.’

The feeling of looking down on everything from above could not be compared to anything else.

Exactly. This is why he chose a flying ancient species.

“Approach as close as possible above Nuejo’s head.”

“Sweet potato!”

The sweet potato blinked its amber eyes, as if to reassure him not to worry.

As they dove into enemy territory, opponents awaited them as if on cue.

“Keeeee!”

“Shaaaak!”

They were mid-sized winged creatures possessing twice the bulk of the sweet potato.

Their sharp teeth and long beaks reminded him of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period.

‘Just five of them…’

Only five.

Jin-hyeok smirked in disbelief.

“They still haven’t grasped the situation, have they?”

Jin-hyeok poured magical power into ‘The Fang’ retrieved from the Dimensional Inventory.

Instead of an arrow, a beam of red light filled the bowstring.

Whoom! Whoom! Whoom!

Magic power compressed to the extreme.

A dazzling aura overlaid the twisted, pretzel-like red arrow.

This should suffice to resemble the sweet potato’s breath.

No need to mind the gazes from Freedmen or Yeol-yeong sharing the view below.

He could unleash his most potent long-range skill without restraint.

“Let’s see how you handle this.”

They called it Nuejo, but he’d turn them into fried chicken.

Almost simultaneously…

Kaboom! Kaboom! Kaboom!

The coiled magic power was released all at once.

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