Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 252

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Solo Max-Level Newbie

Chapter 252. Ataraxia, The Pureblood Empress (2)

“Ugh…”

Amulam froze in place.

Simply facing her was enough to make his body constrict and feel as if his eyes would burn.

This heat.

This magic power.

…It was an entirely different dimension.

‘I thought due to the contract with the player, she wouldn’t be able to use her unique Holy Song.’

I was mistaken.

Just as he said, such penalties were far from enough to be an obstacle.

Is this truly the might of Ataraxia’s strongest lineage?

‘So much time has passed and yet the gap hasn’t closed at all…’

Despair smeared across every corner of Amulam’s mind.

At that moment.

Whoosh!

A short spear (短槍) made of flame formed in Elris’s palm.

Its fiery blade pointed forward, encircled by horrifying flames.

[Elris activates ‘Tersis’.]

“Take this.”

No need for propulsion for acceleration.

The spear that vanished into the air, cleaving through it, aimed straight for Amulam’s head.

A barrier of blood materialized momentarily, but it couldn’t withstand the short spear for even a second.

The shields shattered like glass walls.

Crack!

Such was the destructive power that the head was torn from the neck.

Yet, Amulam did not die.

The vampire’s tenacious vitality sought immortality, even in situations that should have been instantaneous death.

Breathless, Amulam gasped for air, his neck and head perfectly regenerated despite the ragged wound.

“Huff, huff, huff…”

Too much magic power was expended in regeneration.

And Elris was already preparing a second short spear for another onslaught.

‘Damn it.’

No matter how much he is the patriarch, if he took an attack of that caliber several times, it would be dangerous.

Indeed, five patriarchs and their kin had attacked Elris with her unique Holy Song and still couldn’t seize a clear victory.

At this rate, it was impossible.

Amulam coldly accepted the reality.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he had any intention of dying so easily.

‘Valmung…!’

Yes. If he could just get his hands on that demonic sword that even sliced through dragons…

There would certainly be a chance to stand against Elris.

‘…Or so he must think.’

Jinhyuk noticed Amulam’s gaze shifting toward Valmung.

Indeed, the only remaining path for Amulam was that.

‘Hmm. Elris is engaged in battle and plans to have her subordinates retrieve Valmung…’

The problem was.

The corpse poison (屍毒) permeating around Valmung was notoriously lethal beyond imagination.

“Grgrgr…”

“Cough! Gack.”

The hunting dogs sent by Decarsus fell coughing up blood and collapsing, attempting to target Valmung.

The fact that not even vampires with their strong resistance could withstand it meant that a normal player would dissolve into a puddle of blood within seconds.

Then…

Jinhyuk retrieved items he had purchased earlier from his subspace inventory.

Mist-tree of the Peshen mountains.

500g of Melmormang sanatorium ointment.

Mist-trees are usually used for high-quality ornaments, while Melmormang ointment is known as a top-tier moisturizing cream.

At first glance, two items that seemed entirely unrelated and unhelpful.

However, properly combining these two can create an antidote against poison.

‘Was it the ratio of 3.25:1.758, perhaps?’

It’s been a while since he last made it, so he couldn’t recall the exact proportions…

But it didn’t matter.

Even if he couldn’t remember the numbers, his body remembered.

[‘Unknown liquid’ 5mg obtained!]

A success.

This combination formula was still unknown in the Tower; hence the system described it as an ‘unknown liquid.’

A thick, colorless, and odorless fluid applied evenly across the skin, and like a lie, the sharp odor attacking his nose disappeared.

And there was more.

[The unique ability ‘Thousand Poison’ (千毒) activates.]

By arming himself against poison and increasing his understanding of them with Thousand Poison, he had taken all necessary precautions.

‘Now, I just have to wait.’

Precisely speaking, he just had to wait for him to use ‘that skill.’

Jinhyuk calmly observed the ongoing battle between the two.

Boom! Puff puff!

The crossing of dozens of magic and blood-made unique abilities.

The fight between two absolutes was indeed on a different level from the start.

Each move might as well have been a boss monster’s full attack, fired off indiscriminately.

One minute, two, three… Time passed.

After several minutes of fierce fighting.

[Amulam has summoned ‘Blood Hound’.]

Blood-made hellhounds appeared.

The moment he had been waiting for had arrived.

Now!

Using ‘Sword Emperor’s Vision’, Jinhyuk kicked off the ground and leapt forward at high speed.

Forward.

Toward Valmung.

***

“Hm?”

“Who is that…?”

Amulam was completely focused on Elris, but not all vampires were the same.

The hunting dogs had picked up a scent.

They detected Jinhyuk’s dash toward Valmung.

“He’s aiming for Valmung?”

“Fool! That place isn’t easily accessible even by us.”

The scorn was followed by expectations of him coughing up blood and collapsing.

But then.

Lightly, effortlessly, Jinhyuk stepped forward.

The realization that something was wrong instinctively dawned upon them at that moment.

“The poison isn’t working?”

“How is this possible!”

Incredulity was in the air.

But there wasn’t time to be astonished.

“Stop him!”

“Don’t let him go any deeper!”

They could still withstand the current intensity of the poison.

But if he were to proceed further, where the poison was at its zenith, they would have to hand over Valmung entirely.

Vampires shot forth all at once.

‘So they won’t just let me pass, huh.’

Jinhyuk glanced back briefly.

Chasing vampires, their crimson blades ready to strike.

At that moment.

Bang!

Someone intervened.

It was Belrus, Elris’s right hand, and Ophelia from Decarsus.

“Leave the small fry to us.”

“…I have repaid my debt with this.”

The two vampires uttered their parts and ousted Decarsus’s kin on their tail with a swift movement.

“Ophelia! You treacherous wench!”

“Intending to become Ataraxia’s lapdog?”

Roars drenched in rage filled the air, but Ophelia didn’t even flinch, as if she no longer wanted to be a disposable chess piece merely thrown away when convenient.

Initially, the vampires seemed no more than loathsome leeches, but now as allies, they felt surprisingly reliable.

“Thanks.”

Jinhyuk offered a quick nod.

Then, without looking back, he took another great leap toward where Valmung lay.

***

Throb! Throb!

With each step forward, the poison grew increasingly more vicious.

Even after applying the ointment and cloaking himself with Thousand Poison, the depths of poison fog made it hard to see.

“Cough…”

Blood seeped from his lips.

Despite simulating this moment multiple times and considering all possibilities, reality proved far harsher than expected.

Indeed…

A relic of the azure rank was worthy of such a title.

Jinhyuk controlled his screaming muscles and took another step toward the sword.

Instinct warned him.

He needed to escape, now.

Stay any longer in this hell, and it would mean death.

However, Jinhyuk suppressed his instincts.

Succumbing to fear or giving up now would mean all his efforts had been for naught.

Besides, Elris was still fighting.

‘Believing that I will succeed.’

He couldn’t betray that hope she held.

He could last perhaps a few dozen more seconds.

‘Beyond that, it’s over.’

Though his sense of direction had vanished, past memories moved his fingertips in its stead.

His vision blurred.

As Jinhyuk trusted his subconscious, he reached out his hand.

He didn’t grasp the sword.

His fingertips swept through empty air with futility.

“Kuh…ugh.”

The taste of iron lingered in his mouth.

Once more, and yet again.

Don’t give up. It isn’t over yet.

With everything he had, he reached out his hand.

Valmung was somewhere nearby.

But the attempt failed again.

Staggering.

Jinhyuk’s body wavered to the left.

But, at that very moment.

The hilt of the sword brushed against the tips of his falling fingers.

Then.

Whirr!

The player’s magic power resonated with the long-dormant relic.

[The Dragon-Slaying Sword ‘Valmung’ awakens!]

Valmung writhed, seeking a new master.

Simultaneously, the corpse poison that blanketed the surrounding area vanished like a lie.

‘I’ve succeeded…’

As Jinhyuk’s consciousness sharpened, he gripped Valmung even tighter.

Now he just needed to inject his magic power and receive Valmung’s acknowledgement, thus claiming ownership of the relic.

Yes, with this, all his plans would reach a perfect end.

That’s what he thought until he heard a voice beside him.

“Thank you. For moving according to plan. With your help, I can put an end to this tedious fight.”

Thud!

A fist from Decarsus struck Jinhyuk’s chest.

It hit precisely where the heart was.

Instantly, the blood flow to his heart halted.

“Gah!”

Naturally, his reaction lagged.

Amulam had secured Valmung.

The greatsword with its radiant blade traced a smooth arc.

“Oho! So this is Valmung. Indeed, it is the ideal sword I had envisioned. Hahaha! With this, I can win, that’s certain.”

“Human!”

Elris attempted to rush to Jinhyuk’s side.

But Amulam was quicker.

“Do not move, Elris. If you do, this human dies.”

Valmung dug into Jinhyuk’s flesh.

With just a bit more force in his fingers, the throat would sever completely.

The tide of battle had turned completely.

“How…?”

Jinhyuk forced out his voice.

“I assumed my kin would fail to approach Valmung, but I believed you would be different. I was certain you’d find a way. All that was left was patience, summoning the Blood Hounds while biding my time. The moment you obtained Valmung, the hounds would take on Elris, and I would use teleportation to reach you. How perfect is this plan?”

There were many variables, but everything flowed exactly as planned.

Look.

Didn’t he catch two birds with one stone?

“The fight ends with my victory, but it would be a waste to kill you just like this. Your method for bypassing the corpse poison, and even replicating the Titan’s arm. Not bad for a mere player. No, to be honest, among my kin, there was none quite as talented as you.”

It would be a lie to say he wasn’t tempted.

“You think… I’ll serve under you?”

“Haha. Of course not. But soon, those thoughts will fade away.”

Amulam had no intention of enlisting an unbound subordinate.

He lightly scratched his own wrist with his nail.

“That… that is!”

“It seems you know what this is. Then you should know just how futile your resistance will be.”

Crimson droplets formed, then slowly dripped down onto Jinhyuk’s lips.

Blood Oath.

A power of the patriarch to etch a direct engraving on the mind, entrapping whoever drinks the blood into eternal servitude.

“…”

Jinhyuk’s pupils dilated.

The face devoid of emotion seemed no more than a corpse awaiting commands.

“Wonderful.”

Amulam confirmed that the mind control had taken effect, then pointed towards Elris, who was still engaged with his royal guard.

“Now, kill Elris with your own hands.”

The elimination of the traitor.

With that, all his objectives here would be achieved.

But.

Thud!

The unexpected, aching stab in his back… it was not something Amulam had foreseen.

Not even Amulam, who had lived for an eon, could avoid being flabbergasted by such defiance of common knowledge.

“Indeed, the kinship between vampires is truly advantageous. Earlier, no matter how much strength I put in, I couldn’t land a blow, but now the feeling in my hand is just perfect.”

Jinhyuk sported a faint smile.

His eyes, which had seemed vacant, were now clear as ever.

On the contrary, thanks to the patriarch’s blood, all his past wounds and fatigue were healed.

“You shook off my mind control? Impossible. How, how did you do that!”

“Sorry, but I’ve faced more troublesome things than this.”

He had encountered an entity equivalent to a sentient thought itself.

If it’s mind-based attacks, he’s experienced the very depths of them.

By comparison, this was nothing.

“If you had fully invested your magic into your blood to activate the Blood Oath, perhaps I might have struggled, but you let your guard down, reveling in victory. That was your downfall.”

He had to act ignorant, play weak, barely holding himself together; it had almost drained him.

But now, the childish charade was over.

Elris approached from the front, while Jinhyuk closed in from behind.

“Curses! Even with Valmung in hand, I can eradicate you both in an instant.”

“Sorry, but Valmung hasn’t chosen its master yet.”

“What nonsense is that? Are you saying you cannot see the Valmung right here?”

Of course, how could he know?

Since Siegfried’s death, no one had wielded Valmung.

“That sword. It doesn’t sit well with negative energy.”

In other words.

You’d need abilities like ‘Star’s Blessing’ or ‘Mandala’.

Valmung, feeling the warmth, sprang from Amulam’s grasp.

[The relic ‘Valmung’ has chosen its master!]

The greatsword in his right hand roared fiercely.

[The unique ability ‘Blood Explosion’ (血爆) activates!]

In his left hand, Decarsus patriarch’s unique ability announced its first use.

“Once more I’ll say it, the fight is over. You shall die, and the rest of the patriarchs will regret their betrayal against Elris.”

Not anyone else, but I will make it happen.

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