Seoul glowed with fluorescent lights and flickering signs. Two men were running and leaping across rooftops as the moon shone down upon them.
Kal Signer kept looking behind him to make sure Seo Jun-Ho wasn’t trying to escape.
‘...This is unexpected.’
His face soured as he faced forward again. Seo Jun-Ho was following him much better than he had expected.
‘I thought I’d need to slow down for him, but I suppose I don’t need to.’
There were two ways this could go. Either he had underestimated him, or Seo Jun-Ho was wearing himself out while trying to keep up.
‘Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the latter.’
Seo Jun-Ho’s posture, steps, and even breaths were enough to tell him as much.
‘Well, he broke Specter’s record after all. He also has a star, which is a prerequisite for joining the Nine Heavens. I shouldn’t let my guard down.’ After clearing the Winter Castle, he had become the only Player on the 1st floor to get a star.
But Kal Signer thought that Seo Jun-Ho was foolish for trying to make him nervous. No matter how talented he might be, Seo Jun-Ho would be the one fighting for his life.
‘The hardware’s good, but his software’s lacking.’
Dealing with people like him was like taking candy from a baby.
After all, he was Kal Signer. He had killed countless Players. He was the infamous Demon Bow.
“This is good enough.” They had left the city behind for a secluded area about halfway up a mountain.
Kal Signer turned around and said, “You’re impressive.”
“First of all, you didn’t try to run away and followed me until the end. Second, you didn’t try anything stupid.”
“What do you mean?” Seo Jun-Ho asked.
“I was watching you the whole time to make sure you wouldn’t contact other Players through your Vita.”
“Were you scared that I’d ring some friends up?”
“Of course not. I just didn’t want things to become more troublesome.” Kal Signer reached into his inventory and pulled out a pair of handcuffs. “I’ll give you two choices. You can either come quietly and let me put these magic-blocking cuffs on you or…”
He released a tiny amount of magic from inside his body.
A powerful gust blew, kicking up dirt and bending not only the branches but a nearby tree itself.
The simple act of releasing magic twisted the area around him. This was the power of a level 100 Ranker.
“You’ll come with me with your legs cut off, crawling like a dog.”
“Where are you planning to take me?” Seo Jun-Ho asked.
“I don’t need to answer. Choose.” Kal Signer stared sharply at Seo Jun-Ho, leaving no room for compromise.
“Hmmm…” Seo Jun-Ho thought for a second and held up three fingers. “I like the third option the best.”
“There are only two choices. There is no third.”
“That’s because your brain’s too small to see it.”
Kal Signer raised an eyebrow, annoyed. He let out a resigned sigh and put the handcuffs away into his inventory. “Humans are so pitiful. They always need sense beaten into them. So what would the third option be?”
“Well, we’re in a remote mountain. I’ll just bury you here.”
“Hmph, your imagination’s quite good.” Kal Signer snorted before he began moving his hands.
In the blink of an eye, six arrows had been fired at Seo Jun-Ho. Kal Signer lowered his bow. He didn’t need to look at the results.
‘There’s no way he could dodge or block those arrows.’
He opened his inventory again, getting ready to leave. No matter how remote this area was, he had to be careful about letting Seo Jun-Ho scream.
But he had been mistaken. His expectations didn’t occur.
Seo Jun-Ho had cut every single arrow with Black Dragon Fang. Cut perfectly in half, twelve fragments laid on the ground.
“...!” Kal Signer was frozen in shock. He looked down at the broken arrows. “...Well, he does have a star.”
Before, Kal Signer had thought that Seo Jun-Ho was just a lucky newbie. But that had changed once he met him in person. He was lucky and skilled. That was how Signer had judged him about half an hour ago, but he revised his opinion once more.
‘Okay, let’s say that it was possible for him to follow me.’
Kal Signer hadn’t been using his full power, so it was possible. But cutting down his arrows was a completely different story.
‘...Is this possible with luck alone?’
No. No matter how hard he thought about it, it was impossible.
Kal Signer shook his head. “This doesn’t make sense.” Yet the impossible had happened right before his eyes. “Hahaha…”
He was so dumbfounded that he started to cackle. “What are you?” He couldn’t help but ask after witnessing such an intriguing event. To his knowledge, no such person could exist.
‘It hasn’t even been a year since he debuted and… he was able to cut down my arrows? Me, the Demon Bow Kal Signer’s arrows?’
And six of them at that?
“Well, I get why you’re confused,” Seo Jun-Ho said, unconcerned. It probably wouldn’t make sense to him. After all, humans all had the same fundamental limits. They couldn’t fly like birds. They eat when they were hungry. They would die if they didn’t breathe. This was common sense—something that all humans know.
“I probably broke your reality.”
Kal Signer’s understanding of common sense was starting to fall apart. Not just his common sense, but everyone’s common sense. Everyone knew that a level 30 Player couldn’t defeat a level 100 Player. But right now, that understanding was crumbling like a sandcastle.
“What can you do? There are things in this world that surpass common sense.” Seo Jun-Ho patted his chest. “Like me.”
“Hm.” Signer let out a short sigh and nodded. “I acknowledge my mistake. You’re talented. You broke Specter’s record and even cleared a 1-star Gate alone. Your skill is great and undeniable.”
There was probably no one on the 1st floor who was stronger than Seo Jun-Ho. If he went up to the 2nd floor, he would grow even faster. He had the potential to become a High Ranker. And if, by chance, he was stronger than what Kal Signer thought right now…
“...Nine Heavens. You could join their ranks and stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”
Kal Signer didn’t want to admit it, but that was Seo Jun-Ho’s ‘potential’ and ‘possibility.’
‘What a waste.’
Kal Signer was truly regretful. In the end, Seo Jun-Ho wouldn’t be given the chance to grow and bloom.
“If only you hadn’t gone to Las Vegas…”
His bright future would still be in front of him.
“This will hurt, but I won’t kill you.”
With that short warning, Kal Signer released his magic, bringing a powerful gust that blew his hood back and whipped his hair.
‘Is he gonna infuse the arrows with magic?’
Seo Jun-Ho raised Black Dragon Fang and his grip tightened. No matter what kind of attack it was, he was ready to receive it.
Kal Signer whispered as he drew his bowstring. “Rip him to shreds, darters.”
Twelve arrows flew toward him in the blink of an eye, and Seo Jun-Ho swung his sword to cut them down.
“...?!” The arrows dodged his strikes. They changed directions as if they were alive.
They swam through the air like fish in the ocean.
‘I see. Darters...They’re fish arrows?’
Seo Jun-Ho had to admit that it was an impressive technique. Of course, the arrows weren’t actually alive.
‘Kal Signer must be controlling them carefully with his magic.’
But Kal Signer drew his bowstring once more. “Welcome to my ocean.”
He fired twelve more arrows. There were now a total of twenty-four arrows in the air. At the same time, Kal Signer’s magic seemed to have become even thicker in the surroundings.
As Kal Signer’s magic pressed him down, it really seemed like he was in the ocean. Seo Jun-Ho’s eyes started to quickly glance around.
‘Dammit, they’re all over the place.’
When fighting an archer, you usually only needed to focus on the direction the arrow was coming from and the straight line it followed. But the Demon Bow’s arrows were different.
‘The arrows are attacking from all directions imaginable.’
Front, back, side, bottom, top. An attack was possible from any direction imaginable by a human. And that wasn’t all.
Auras started to spin around each arrowhead. If he was hit in the arm by one arrow, it would rip right through his shoulder.
‘They’re fast too.’
As if a sports car was zooming by, the air screamed every time an arrow zipped through the air.
“No matter how beautiful a flower is, it doesn’t matter if it never blooms.” It was the same for potential. No matter how talented Seo Jun-Ho was, he was still a mere sprout. “Since I’ve taught you a lesson, I’ll take those legs in exchange.”
The darters all shot at him at once.
The heat from his body caused the cool mountain air to grow hot and at the same time, Seo Jun-Ho began his sword dance. He moved slower than usual because of the disturbance in his magic.
The arrows pushed him and his sword back. But he didn’t let his concentration break and continued to slash at every darter that came at him.
Seo Jun-Ho quickly adjusted to the speed of Kal Signer’s attack. Even though the darters were fast, so was his sword.
‘Not enough. Faster.’
The darters were relentless in their chase, and they were coming at him from ten different directions.
Seo Jun-Ho threw his body forward and rolled on the ground before hiding behind the nearby trees as he took them out, but he continued to grow faster.
‘Faster. Faster. Faster.’
His eyes started to glow. He believed that he had reached his peak condition. At that moment…
He struck an arrow down.
The darter ripped through the mountain and created a small crater when it struck the bottom. The scene looked as if a dragon had collided against the mountain.
“...He hit it?” Kal Signer scowled. He looked down at his hand.
‘Am I unconsciously going too easy on him?’
No, that wasn’t it. He was using his full power to try and cut off Seo Jun-Ho’s legs.
He was confused. Seo Jun-Ho was talented, but so was he. Not only that but Kal Signer’s skills had already bloomed.
‘But...I can’t hit him.’
Usually, the darters would tear through their target like a piranha, but now, they were being cut apart.
If his arrows were fish, then Seo Jun-Ho’s sword was a shark. Now that he got the hang of it, he started to rampage through the arrows. Every time he swung his sword, the darters would fall to the ground in pieces, and Kal Signer couldn’t infuse his magic into broken arrows.
The fish in the sky were starting to fall, one by one. Kal Signer couldn’t do anything but stare at the sky in a daze until only one was left.
The remaining one was also felled.
Kal Signer was stunned. He felt as if he had just woken up from a dream, or as if he was drunk and dizzy.
“...I see.” He eventually nodded at Seo Jun-Ho, who was breathing heavily. “You’re not lucky, nor are you a rookie.”
Seo Jun-Ho was a Player. On top of that, he wasn’t a Player that Kal Signer could kill whenever he wanted. No, Seo Jun-Ho was a Player that Kal Signer had to risk his life to kill. “...It’s been too long. My senses have dulled.”
Kal Signer closed his eyes. It had been over half a year since he have had a proper battle because Kim Woo-Joong was chasing him. As a result, his skills had gotten rusty.
‘But it’s a good thing.’
Fortunately, he realized it before it was too late. Kal Signer decided to let go of all the arrogance and preconception he had against Seo Jun-Ho.
“...” When he opened his eyes again, they burned crimson.
Seo Jun-Ho had never seen eyes that were so blood-red.
‘Is this… the power of the Demon Bow, the symbol of fear on the 2nd floor?’
He swallowed. All the magic within Signer had changed into demonic energy. The feeling made him shiver.
‘Damn. Was I too arrogant?’
The magic storm had disappeared, but that only made him even more nervous.
The wind sounded dangerous, but the truly powerful storms were silent.
“You should feel honored.”
Kal Signer drew Final Horizon.
“Storm Dragon’s Arrow.”
When he let go of the bowstring, a ferocious dragon swallowed the earth around them.
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