CH 43

[East gate]

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A sword dance was unfolding, and tens of plum blossom petals were floating in the air as the scent of plum blossoms arose.
The users cried out.

“S-scented Sword Dance? An orc can do that?”

Regardless of the ongoing screams and cries, a multitude of different sword strikes cut across the air through designated paths and wreaked havoc on the battlefield.

[South gate]


As cries rang out on the battlefield, all the users trapped in a spell’s range turned motionless.
In front of them stood a Lich who possessed an immense amount of dark magic power. 

There was an island to the south of the Starting Village where undead resided; it was called the Dead Earth. Originating from that island were a thousand undead and the Lich who led them, and they swept through the users at the south gate.

“Oh my god! A class 7 mage is this scary?”

“Damn it! Mage classes start at class 1, not class 9!”

Amongst the users, the current highest-level mage was class 4.
Moreover, within the realm of magic, every additional class level meant an entirely new dimension and degree of magic use.
A tremendous amount of training, luck, and fortune was needed to raise one’s class level.


The Lich snorted as he swung his staff, causing a black magic-powered tsunami to sweep through the gathered user base.


“My god.”


“Ah, I thought I got stronger….”

The monster attack shocked the users.
Those who joined the event for fun were effortlessly swept away and embarrassed by the relatively low number of monsters.
The monsters were truly mighty, and the users felt as if they had been splashed in the face with cold water.

Users in the east, west, and south gates all sustained heavy losses.
All three sides were handily defeated.
However, there was one area where this wasn’t the case… the north gate.

Bam! Boom!

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A sharp sword strike and magic spell landed on the enemy’s body, but the enemy didn’t take any damage.
The leader of the monster corps, a Werebear [Knight], smashed its feet on the ground and led the other land-based monsters as they barrelled towards the users. 


The Werebear accelerated, and, for a moment, it reached the speed of sound.
It didn’t seem like a living organism; it seemed more like a live ammunition shell.
Wherever the Werebear passed, users cried out and perished.

“This tickles.
Isn’t there anyone strong around here?”

The upper-level life force practitioners were formidable against practitioners who specialized in other fields, but they were even more powerful against lower-level life force practitioners. 

For an upper-level life force practitioner, their physical body was their weapon and defensive tool.
Since their body always existed, it didn’t take much to maintain. Furthermore, life force practitioners didn’t have an affinity to an attribute.
In fact, they ‘repelled’ all attributes and even ‘interfered’ with attributes.
Thus, if an attack couldn’t break through a life force practitioner’s defense, even a defenseless life force practitioner wouldn’t be too injured from an attack.


What made the Werebear even more frightening was that it utilized its speed to smash into its enemies, which caused chaos on the battlefield. And because the Werebear moved at the speed of sound, any collision would spell instant death for the user.
Logically, considering it was crashing into so many users, the Werebear should have been hurt in some way as well, but it had not.


The Werebear stopped abruptly and placed its claws on the ground like a track athlete taking a starting pose.
Then, the Werebear’s hamstring briefly expanded before steam shot out from its body.

“The Eight Ways of Fighting.”

After roaring a few words, the Werebear flexed its legs.
The motion looked like a compressed spring uncoiling.

“Thunder Run.”


The Werebear [Knight], Dongyun, dashed through the users standing before it in an instant.
Actually, to be more specific, it wasn’t just the users.
Everything, from buildings and natural landscape to even the atmosphere, was swept up and destroyed by Dongyun’s attack.

“Grr, so weak.
Too weak.
Is it necessary to conduct a test when they’re so powerless? It would be better to-”

“Better to what?”


Hearing an unexpected reply, Dongyun raised his head.
In front of him was a girl who looked to be in her late teens.
She had bountiful red hair, was wrapped in golden cloth armor, and seemed fairly cute; she had pale skin and stood 160 centimeters tall with some brunette colors mixed into her red hair.
To top it off, she possessed large, innocent blue eyes, had a rough manner of speech, a smirking smile, and an overly large sword in her hands, which seemed to be a military-use long sword.

Are you the leader of these werebear monsters?”

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“That I am.
I am Bitter Earth’s third corps leader, Dongyun.
Who are you?”

Although he was just speaking, a tremendous wave of qi emanated outward.
Any typical human would have fearfully collapsed to the ground after being hit with the qi wave, but the young girl didn’t seem fazed.

“Me? I’m Cruze, just another user.
I’m sorry to say this in our first meeting, but….”

With a relatively quiet tone of voice, the girl lifted her long sword.

“You’re going to give me experience points!”


Dongyun teetered as a heavy strike landed directly on his forehead. Despite not taking his gaze off Cruze, he did not notice the attack.
For a moment, he thought that Cruze’s attack speed was faster than what he could recognize, but he soon found that that wasn’t the case.
He learned this after he saw her next attack being aimed at his chest.


The scene of a  160-centimeter-tall teenage girl swinging a long sword at a two-and-a-half-meter-tall monster seemed unreal, especially when taking into account the destructive capabilities of the young girl’s attack.
There was enough force in her strikes that they could instantly disintegrate a giant redwood tree, and while her attack would have been cumbersome even for a monster with high life force, Dongyun got up from the strike without any notable wounds.
Dongyun soon started growling.

“Bitch! What did you do!”

“What do you mean, ‘what did I do.’ I attacked you.
But I don’t see any injuries… I know that you have formidable defenses, but isn’t this too much?”

While complaining, the girl hopped and skipped toward Dongyun.
Though her movements seemed open and defenseless, Dongyun couldn’t take the initiative to strike first, as he was still processing how he was previously attacked.

“Install complete.


Although she spoke quietly, Dongyun was able to hear her words through his naturally enhanced hearing. Yet, if he couldn’t understand what she was saying, there was no use in being able to pick up her mumbling.

“Hmph, whatever.
I don’t know how you attacked me, but your strength is lacking.
I’ll just counterattack while powering through your attacks.”

“Oh, do you think that’s possible?”


Soon, an aura expanded out from Cruze and melted into her long sword. 


The most popular skill where mana was materialized into a physical form was Sword Qi.
It was something an internal energy practitioner would learn once they understood and realized the top tenets of martial arts.
However, creating Sword Qi wasn’t restricted to only internal energy practitioners.

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A chakra practitioner who attained the first level of understanding in a particular attribute could create a Primary Truth, and a spiritual power practitioner could compress spiritual qi and create a Spirit Stone. While these two approaches of materializing mana into a physical form were fundamentally different from swordsmanship and the use of internal energy, the effects, and power that they derived from the materialization were very similar to Sword Qi.
This basic principle of materialization into a physical form was aura.
And once an individual gathered and condensed spiritual power into the shape of a sword…


… people would say that they created an Aura Blade. 

“Bitch! You’re a Master!”

To be able to bring out Sword Qi, one had to have become a Master in [Swordsmanship], otherwise popularly known as reaching the letter rankings of at least an A rank.
With that sort of fighting ability, one could reach Level 10. Yet, similar to how Merlin was a Master in swimming but did not raise his overall level, there were some who did not level up.
However, because those who reach Level 10 could choose a ‘Career’ and see their development grow in leaps and bounds, most would opt to rush to Level 10.

“With this, I should be able to break your skin, no?”

“This bitch…!”


Dongyun angrily rushed towards Cruze and took a swipe at her, but before he could hit her, an attack landed on his head.
Though Cruze’s attack had been swift, Dongyun was more aware and prepared this time around, so he ‘saw’ how the attack moved. 

“Projectile… she’s shooting?”

This didn’t make sense to Dongyun. Since users were from modern society, they would think to make modern weaponry, but most people didn’t possess the expertise or skill to recreate such weapons. 

Even if she succeeded in recreating a modern gun, the damage shouldn’t have been so severe. Despite only weighing 250 kilograms, Dongyun’s body was extremely firm and tough.
As such, attacks with force greater than his weight wouldn’t cause him to become injured in any way. Yet, her hits had snapped back his head and made his mind momentarily foggy from the ringing in his ears.
Her strikes weren’t wholly reliant on physical properties; they were imbued with spiritual power.

Dongyun had observed this first-hand.
The projectile that had hit his head bounced up into the air and turned into white smoke before disappearing. 


However, Dongyun didn’t have time to stare at the disappearing projectile as Cruze’s Aura Blade was heading for his chest.


Her attack was stopped.
Dongyun didn’t take any special measures to block her strike; his physical body had stopped it by itself.
Of course, he also took some damage.
Her Aura Blade had cut into his skin and caused him to lose a decent amount of blood, but even though her Aura Blade could cut through iron like butter, it couldn’t even pierce or crack his bones.

“Damn it! I was planning on avoiding your bones and piercing your heart.”

Although the cute-looking Cruze charmingly spoke such frightening words, she had lost her chance at inflicting critical damage on Dongyun, as he had backed up about 50 meters away from her. Furthermore, not a single scratch could be seen on Dongyun’s body.
He had already regenerated and recovered from his injuries.

“I’m impressed.
I could have been sent to the netherworld.”

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“Hmm… well, come to think of it, even if I pierced your heart, I don’t think you would have died.”

Dongyun and the other hundred or so werebears had retreated a few steps on the battlefield.
Cruze momentarily considered shooting a bunch of projectiles at the enemy, but she soon gave up on this.
If the enemy could withstand a full-frontal attack from Aura Blade, her shots wouldn’t be able to pierce their defenses.
Moreover, she had not ‘installed’ a projectile attack that could pierce through such heavy defenses.
Additionally, she lacked ‘memory’ and hadn’t fully developed her skills to create an ultimate move.

‘I made a mistake.
I haven’t perfected my sword and shouldn’t have wielded it.
Instead, I should’ve started with my gun.’

Of course, if she chose to target the other werebears and not Dongyun, she may have taken a few down. To add to this, if she had instructed her pet ‘Wukong’ to do so, she could have received some supporting fire on top of her considerable main firepower.
However, Dongyun had discovered her strengths and powers, and he wouldn’t just stand there and be a sitting target. 

“Hey, bitch, have you read the announcement?”

“… Of course.
Do monsters like you know about the announcement system?”

“It seems you aren’t aware of this, but unique monsters like me can revive after death and still possess our past memories.
There’s a whole community of us.
Anyway, since you said you read the announcement, that’s that. As the announcement stated, we’ll be back in a couple of days to restart the attack.
No, wait.
Since we’re going from the east gate to the north and then the west and south gates, I’ll be back in three days.”

After saying this, Dongyun smiled.

“I’ll be back with a 10,000 monster corps.”

While all the users knew about this, no one had put much thought into it.
This was because the users had only experienced monsters around Starting that were around Level 2 to Level 3.
The users didn’t even consider 10,000 monsters at the upper levels. Yet, the users’ thoughts and perceptions slowly changed after confronting the initial 1,000 monsters in this first wave.

“… So, what?”

“When that day comes, we won’t retreat, whether we’re winning or losing.
We’ll ravage the village and make sure to wipe out all the users.”

Though his words were fearsome, they didn’t possess any killing intent, and even if there were killing intent, the users wouldn’t have felt scared.
On Dynamic Island, all the users were immortal beings.
A user’s death would force them to log out for a certain amount of time and lose some experience points, so many people felt ‘annoyed’ at being killed, but they didn’t feel any ‘fear.’

“Hmm, do you think that’s possible?”


The atmosphere seemed to shake and vibrate when Dongyun laughed aloud.
Then, he continued, “I like your spunk, bitch.
I’ll make sure that I’m the one that kills you.”

“The same goes for me.
I really want to gain a bunch of experience points.”

A user and monster faced each other, both with smiles on their faces.
Dongyun soon raised his right hand.


The werebear corps quickly disappeared into the ever-present snowstorm that roiled through the icy north.

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