Auto Hunting - Chapter 83
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Jinchung’s eyes widened as he stared at the countless, shining pieces of metal surrounding him. It was hard to believe that they had been an ax just a few moments ago.
His arms were stiff due to the unbearable recoil he had suffered, but otherwise, he was numb.
He was stunned at the incredible thing that had just happened, at the pitch-black scales of the beast, so dark that they seemed to absorb all light around them.
There was an invisible pressure enveloping the beast’s tough scales.
An energy very familiar to hunters.
‘How the hell, he thought, could a monster use Aura?’
As soon as he recovered from his shock, though, he realized what he needed to do.
Jinchung stepped onto the beast’s scales and used the momentum to launch his escape.
It wasn’t the same as the Spider Walk; this was a much simpler method of using Aura on the legs and pushing off from a surface. It was still effective, though.
‘I must run away at once,’ he realized.
He needed to be as far away as possible, as soon as possible. All his ambitions had been shattered to pieces, just like his ax. For now, he just wanted to survive.
It didn’t matter if Won Jeong-cheon was there to assist him.
For the first time in his career as a hunter in the Chinese industry, Jinchung wanted to join a group hunt.
‘More hunters,’ he thought, ‘we need more hunters.’
Before he could get any further, though, a colossal weight hit his side. The impact was too much for his body to handle, and Jinchung’s consciousness faded as the Bi Xi crushed him with its paw.
Won Jeong-cheon had seen it all.
‘Damn, there wasn’t even a sound.’
In the blink of an eye, the Bi Xi’s paws had lifted from the ground and crushed Jinchung. The beast wasn’t slow; it just chose to move when it wanted to, showing the reptilian instinct to stay still until it wanted to snatch its prey.
By instinct rather than a conscious decision, Won Jeong-cheon raised his bow, aiming for the turtle’s eye. He had never shot a monster in the eye before; this would be his first.
He had learned archery from his father, who taught him to shoot between the eyebrows.
‘Finish them in an instant,’ had been his father’s words.
As the beast’s eyes turned in his direction, Won Jeong-cheon felt a primal horror engulf him.
He let go of the bowstring, the arrow carrying a force that exceeded the level it could safely handle. The excess energy made it a little unstable, but Won Jeong-cheon’s aim was true – it was headed straight for the Bi Xi’s eyes.
The beast remained lethally still.
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Perhaps the arrow was coming too fast for it to react. Or perhaps it was simply that there was no need for it to avoid something that couldn’t harm it.
Won Jeong-cheon prayed with all his heart that it was the former.
Unfortunately for him, in the mythical creature’s long lifetime, it had never yet faced a threat too fast for it to avoid. With the exception of Yoo-seong’s Plum Blossoms Blade just a few minutes ago, in an attack born from the miracle of Auto-Hunting.
Finally, the arrow reached the Bi Xi’s eye, with a sound like paaat-thhhhh-3333!
Won Jeong-cheon watched as his arrow’s metal melted upon impact, as if he had shot it into lava. The arrow he had charged with all his arm’s strength and a massive portion of his CE had turned into a plume of smoke. Immediately, Won Jeong-cheon turned and applied his remaining Aura to his legs.
‘It’s too far away,’ he told himself, trying to calm down. ‘I can make it. If I can just reach that forest…’
Behind him, the Bi Xi opened its mouth, letting out a deafening roar before a pillar of fire shot from its throat. The flame flew in a straight line, toward the forest Won Jeong-cheon was aiming for. He felt the ground shake beneath him and a growing heat upon his back.
They were the last sensations he felt.
Yoo-seong was woken by a violent earthquake. Instantly, he felt that his face was numb.
This meant that the arrow had penetrated his head.
Fortunately, it hadn’t gone front to back, mouth to nape, nor top to bottom, skull to chin. Instead, the arrow had hit the side of his cheek and come out the other side, missing his teeth and tongue. The position Auto-Hunt had made him take had enabled him to survive without dying or losing any of his limbs.
The ground continued to shake, the intense power of the Bi Xi’s pillar of fire causing an earthquake.
Yoo-seong tried to pull the arrow out of his cheek but quickly realized that his arms had lost all their strength.
‘Damn,’ he thought.
It wasn’t the result of any damage to his bones or muscles. Instead, it was due to a temporary sensory confusion caused by shock. In the face of severe injury, the brain temporarily shuts down some of our nerves in order to lessen the pain, with the body’s sense of balance and control also getting paralyzed in the process.
‘Somehow… if I could just press the button.’
Yoo-seong’s arm waved aimlessly in the air as he tried to push the invisible button. However, it seemed that his brain could not get his arm to move beyond a certain angle at the moment.
Another violent series of quakes further disoriented Yoo-seong. Then, he felt a hand grabbing him and opened his eyes.
She was pale and trembling with fear. She had witnessed everything from the woods, from Yoo-seong luring the Bi Xi away from her location, to the arrivals of Jinchung and Won Jeong-cheon.
The sight of Yoo-seong falling from the sky with an arrow stuck in his head.
As he fell, the Blood Petrification Yoo-seong had placed on her was lifted and she had instantly begun running towards him.
She couldn’t think of anything else.
Whatever Won Jeong-cheon or Jinchung were planning to do, no matter how scared she was of the Bi Xi, she had to save Yoo-seong.
Finally, she found him lying helplessly on the ground but, just as she reached him, the ground stopped shaking. A large shadow fell over them.
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Biyeon raised her head reluctantly, dreading that her nightmare had come true.
The Bi Xi was looking down at them with its red eyes.
Biyeon grabbed Yoo-seong and activated her Explosive Acceleration. The Tech, combined with her Psy, proved to be faster than anything else.
This meant they were able to avoid the gigantic paw that swung at them.
The ground they had been standing on sunk under the Bi Xi’s weight. Dust, boulders and rocks flew upward, blocking Biyeon’s way. It was the disadvantage of Explosive Acceleration: it provided a burst of energy but only in a forward direction. That was why the Spider Walk was a better option, since it provided more flexibility.
They were able to escape the Bi Xi but only for a moment. Another paw came crashing down, blocking their path.
Above them, the turtle’s red abyss of a mouth opened wide.
‘It’s okay,’ Biyeon murmured, trying to reassure Yoo-seong. One of her legs had been damaged by the flying boulders, Biyeon unable to protect herself because her Aura was focused on covering Yoo-seong. She hugged Yoo-seong’s body tightly.
‘Maybe,’ she thought, ‘it would be better to go this way.’
With her fire consuming them, rather than the breath of a monster.
Yoo-seong was waving his arms in front of himself helplessly. Biyeon grabbed his hand, thinking that he was terrified of what was coming and needed reassurance. However, he shook her hand off forcefully.
As she stared at his determined expression, Biyeon formulated an idea. Yoo-seong did it before every fight; Biyeon had assumed it was some kind of fighting pose.
Now, she understood that it might be his way of managing his tension before going into battle.
‘Maybe he needs it now,’ she realized.
Just before the Bi Xi released another pillar of fire, Biyeon took Yoo-seong’s hand. Guiding it gently, she placed it in the same position he always did before battle.
A miracle happened.
The pillar of fire ravaged the ground, causing rocks the size of houses to bounce up to the sky.
The ground itself had transformed into hell, the soil melting into lava. However, it was an empty hell with no one in it.
The monster’s eyes had started moving.
It could hear the sound of something jumping between the rocks as they flew upwards.
‘It’s that creature,’ the beast sensed.
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Earlier, just before it got blasted away by something flying, that creature had made the Bi Xi feel a touch of fear.
Now, the creature was in the air again.
The Bi Xi could make the ground shake. It could also burn any tree he Yoo-seong could hide in. Thus, Auto-Hunt had decided that a different location was the best place Yoo-seong could be.
Yoo-seong was running upwards, using the rocks around him as a path. When there were no footholds available, he made his own, seamlessly transitioning between Spider Walk and Steel Steps.
The beast’s paw smashed at the heated ground once again. This time, hot stones and lava sprang up.
However, Yoo-seong was long gone. The beast felt confused for a moment.
‘Was he dead?’
But then it heard the same annoying noise once more.
The faint sound was coming from its own paw; Yoo-seong was running up the Bi Xi’s forefoot.
The Bi Xi stomped its foot on the ground, sending Yoo-seong flying, but he didn’t lose balance. Instead, he started running through the air again, and the Bi Xi quickly realized that it was pointless to shoot a pillar of flame against such a tiny target.
It knew that Yoo-seong would again aim for its eye, but they were only vulnerable when it was shooting fire from its mouth. At all other times, its eyeballs were filled with molten lava. It was the same reason the arrow shot at its eye earlier had melted upon impact. The creature ought to have melted or turned to ashes as a result of its endless heat.
Yoo-seong continued running upward.
At the same time, the Bi Xi flooded its eyeballs with lava.
Finally, Yoo-seong was within reach.
A heavy weapon appeared in Yoo-seong’s hand: a single blade of the Red Dragon Twin Sword.
Smelted with heat, it was far more durable than Yoo-seong’s wrist blade. It was a weapon conceived with the sole purpose of containing heat.
With the Red Dragon Sword as its base, the Plum Blossom Sword rose.
The tip touched the Bi Xi’s eye.
Tremendous heat erupted in all directions, heat powerful enough to burn everything away to ashes.
At that moment…
The Queen’s Hug.
A Red Dragon blade.
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And the Bi Xi’s eye.
Yoo-seong blinked to activate the function: