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Chapter 16 - Black Route (5)

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Chapter 16. Black Route (5)

[Number of monsters hunted: 543]

The dungeon was shaking up and down. Stone dust fell from the ceiling.

Surprised by the sudden earthquake, monsters broke out of their areas causing a disturbance.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Yeon-woo rushed into the tunnel while holding his dagger in a reverse grip.

The scorching heat and the burning flames left no safe spot for him to tread on, but Yeon-woo held his breath and focused every single one of his senses on the ant tunnel.

[Combat Will]

[Sense Strengthening]


As soon as he activated his skills, time around Yeon-woo seemed to stretch out.

As his senses reached their peak potency and with the help of his heightened concentration, all the information about his surroundings poured into his brain.

Although a terrible headache followed, he could withstand the pain thanks to his occasional practice.

‘I can only last five minutes in this state!’


Yeon-woo rushed in between the ants that were struggling in pain and put them out of their misery.

Even those that ran towards him while letting out a screech had their shells burned. It wasn’t hard to get rid of them.

‘It’s a shame I can’t eat all the hearts that are lying here.’

Still, he got to kill a large number of monsters at once, so it wasn’t too much of a loss.

The ants that were still alive or died of suffocation still had their hearts intact, so he could enjoy them later. Even so, he didn’t think of eating them right away.

Even if the explosion swept through the tunnel, nearly half of the ants had survived the impact. Most of those that died were mere antlings or eggs that had yet to hatch. Therefore, there were still many worker ants left alive.

‘It won’t be too late to clean this up after I get Bathory’s Vampiric Sword. Right now I have to focus on….’


An ant that was approximately five times bigger than the average Blue Army Ant ran towards Yeon-woo.

“The Ant Queen!”

The Ant Queen expressed her fury towards the criminal who destroyed her den.

[A boss monster, Blue Army Ant Queen has emerged.]

If she were in optimal condition, Yeon-woo would have no chance of winning.

The Ant Queen currently had two of her six legs blown away, her wings were completely torn apart, and her burned exoskeleton was festering. Her one remaining eye was blazing with anger.

*Kung* *Kung*

The ground shook with every step she took. The pressure he was feeling was greater than the one he felt when he faced the Red O-Gong.

‘Four minutes.’

Yeon-woo quickly searched for the gate. But it wasn’t easy to find because the tunnel was too wide.

The Ant Queen swung its leg towards him as he searched. Yeon-woo swiftly rolled on the ground and narrowly dodged the attack.

In the meantime, he continued searching for the gate.

‘Three minutes.’

Time was ticking.

Yeon-woo’s senses finally caught on to something. A small gate was hidden beyond the fried ant eggs.

‘That must be it!’

However, even if he found its location, the Ant Queen didn’t seem to have any intention of letting him pass.

‘Two minutes.’

The use of thought acceleration through Combat Will paired with Sense Strengthening was very convenient as it allowed him to execute quick judgment, but the headache and dizziness caused by the aftereffects were severe. If he had to suffer from the aftereffects amid this situation, it would be over for him.

Yeon-woo drew three daggers from his waist and threw them at the Ant Queen.



The Ant Queen lightly flung the daggers aside and let out a sardonic screech.




A fourth dagger flew in with a slight delay and struck deep into the Ant Queen’s remaining eyeball.


The pain caused the Ant Queen to go into a frenzy.

In the meantime,

‘One minute, now!’

Yeon-woo slid underneath the belly of the Ant Queen and went past her. At the same time, he severed two of her remaining legs.


The Ant Queen’s body tilted forward, and her head slammed onto the ground.

The other ants started to assemble in order to protect their queen. The whole cave shook as they moved all at once.

Meanwhile, he managed to reach the gate after passing through the ant’s territory. At that moment, a massive headache and dizziness hit him as the effects of thought acceleration wore off.

While holding in his vomit, Yeon-woo quickly entered the gate and closed it behind him.


The gate shut just before the ants’ legs could reach him. The place he found himself in was completely cut off from the ant tunnel, so none of the ants were able to enter the room.

[You have entered the ‘Temple of The Vampire Lord’.]


As soon as he saw the message, Yeon-woo leaned against the wall, taking a second to catch his breath.

*Kung Kung Kung*

Outside, the ants were banging at the gate, trying to get him out of the room. He could also hear the Ant Queen’s screeching noise occasionally.

He didn’t know whether this room and the ant tunnel were a completely separate dimension, or there was some kind of aura that was keeping them from approaching the temple. Nevertheless, the ants only kept pounding on the gate without even thinking of breaking into the room.

Yeon-woo took a look around once his headache subsided.

It was a small room with about 70 square meters of space. The ceiling covered the room from high above, and a beam of light streaming from above illuminated a part of the room. An altar was sitting in that spot, glowing with a crimson aura.

There were five steps leading up to the altar. Bronze braziers were emanating an ominous green fire on both sides, and a statue was standing right in the middle. It was a woman with snake-shaped hair and long sharp fangs. Her lifelike eyes gave off the illusion of her coming alive.

‘Bathory, the Lord of Vampires.’

Yeon-woo looked at her face and soon moved his gaze toward the dagger in her hand.

A handle with a reddish tint, and azure blade uniquely shaped like a lightning bolt. It was about 30 centimeters long.

‘That must be it, the most prized weapon of the Lord of Vampires.’

[Bathory’s Vampiric Sword]

Number 352

Classification: One-handed Weapon

Rating: Unique

Description: The Vampire Lord’s most prized weapon. It has the ability to drain the blood of its opponent. The spirit of its previous owner resides within the sword, so it is known to personally choose its wielder. If the wielder isn’t approved by the sword, it will constantly try to take over their mind.

* Blood Mark

If the target is struck with a critical blow, the target will be inflicted with ‘bleed’. Targets under the effect of bleed will receive a certain percentage of the weapon’s damage as damage over time.

* Power of the Vampire Lord

Ability locked. (Sealed)

Yeon-woo clenched his fist as he thought he had finally found it.

Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was a hidden piece that could help him narrow the gap between him and the frontrunners.

The sword was also holding the legacy of the Vampire Lord, so he was expecting the sword would bring him steady growth even after advancing into The Tower.

‘And this isn’t all there’s to it.’

Yeon-woo’s eyes turned towards one of the item’s options. The last option marked as locked, with the word ‘sealed’ next to it.

Of course, even without this option, Bathory’s Vampire Sword was remarkable enough. Not only the damage itself was high, but also the ‘Blood Mark’ option was above average. Even so, the real value of the artifact lied in the sealed option.

‘Only with this option unlocked it can be called the true vampiric sword.’

Yeon-woo began to climb the stairs as the corners of his mouth turned up at the edges.

At that moment, he felt as if the eyes of the statue were watching him carefully. Yeon-woo gently nodded so as to pay his respect and brought his hand to Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.



Yeon-woo felt something piercing through his palm and squeezing into his body. It was something hot, sticky, and alien.

The veins of his right hand holding the sword were bulging all the way up to his arm. The skin on his arm turned into a pale, dark reddish color, his veins tensed up as if they would burst at any moment.

He could clearly see something black crawling up inside his veins.

Yeon-woo gritted his teeth in enormous pain.

The phrase “personally choose its wielder” written on the information window popped into his head.

The Lord of Vampires was known as the greediest being of all time. Even though I never met her personally, I’ve heard that all the people who had spoken with her had been shocked by greed. She was often compared with the Devil Archduke for her greed.

If so, then how greedy is the sword she left behind?

In order to properly wield the sword, he had to constantly withstand the threat that it posed to him. However, were players who had just entered the tutorial capable enough to suppress that kind of threat? That was the reason why several players who had found the sword had suddenly evaporated into thin air.

If the sword was meant to be found by beginners, how should they handle it?

And then, one day I had an idea. Since the sword was given as a hidden piece, wouldn’t there be another way? Just like the way of eating White Moss?

After spending a long time researching, his brother had found a way for beginners to deal with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.

In a way, that was also a hidden piece.

“Hidden piece of a hidden piece.”

Yeon-woo spat out curses at the designer who had set this trap up to put the players in trouble.

He lifted up the sword and stabbed the back of his left hand.


Others would have thought he was crazy if they saw it.



Suddenly, the black energy that had climbed up to his right shoulder through his veins began to withdraw. Then it poured down into the back of his left hand at a rapid pace.

The black energy congealed on the back of his left hand and his palm. At first, Bathory’s Vampiric Sword seemed to contort, then it melted down and wound around his left hand. It looked as if it was being transplanted into his palm.

There is a secret behind Bathory’s Vampiric Sword. Although it looks like a weapon and it’s described as an artifact in the tooltip, it has a true form it has been hiding from the players.

‘If you’re the one who chooses the wielder, I will force you to choose me.’

A skill.

Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was originally a skill, but posed an extreme difficulty.

The Lord of Vampires was so greedy that she didn’t want to pass her most prized weapon on to others even after her death. So she sealed off the sword’s real form and ability and left it behind in the world.

And it was only now that the seal had been lifted.


Bathory’s Vampiric Sword had now completely melted away.

However, Yeon-woo’s left hand looked no different from usual. So was his palm. It was completely normal.

The black energy that had been radiating ominous aura until just now was nowhere to be seen. It was as if it had evaporated somewhere.

Yeon-woo grinned and stretched out his hand. It was a flat palm with nothing on it. But the moment he focused his senses on his left hand,


Suddenly, black energy streamed out of his palm and gathered into a lump, then spread out like a vortex.

When the process concluded, the skill had taken a shape resembling jaws full of serrated teeth like that of a beast.


The jaws opened and closed repeatedly.

[The seal has been lifted.]

[(True) Bathory’s Vampiric Sword]

Number 66

Proficiency: 0.0%

Description: The Vampire Lord’s most prized weapon’s true form. It can drain the life energy out of its opponents and devour their souls.

* Blood Mark

If the target is struck with a critical blow, the target will be inflicted with ‘bleed’. Targets under the effect of bleed will receive a certain percentage of the weapon’s damage as damage over time.

* Power of the Vampire Lord

Drain the target’s energy and extort a portion of the target’s attribute points. If proficiency reaches its maximum, the target’s skills can also be stolen.

Number 66!

Even high rankers would have to work their fingers to the bone in order to obtain a numbered skill. But at point in time, a Unique Skill had come into Yeon-woo’s possession.

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